March 7th, 2013
10:50 PM ET

Asteroid to fly past Earth this weekend

By Melissa Gray, CNN

An asteroid the size of a city block will pass by Earth this weekend, but have no fear: There's no danger of it hitting our planet.

The 80-meter (262 feet) wide asteroid makes its closest approach to Earth on Saturday afternoon in the United States. It will be about 975,000 kilometers (604,500 miles) away, said Don Yeomans, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. That's about 2 1/2 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

"It's a pretty good size, but it's not getting that close, at least by recent standards," Yeomans said.

The asteroid was only discovered Sunday because search telescopes can't find objects of that size until they get close.

Now that it's in view, Yeomans said, astronomers can accurately chart its orbit. And they assure us this space rock will only make a fly-by.

The asteroid is already observable in the night sky, even with sophisticated amateur telescopes, he said. But get a good look at it now, because after the close approach, the asteroid will appear in the daytime sky and be harder to see, Yeomans said.

Dubbed 2013ET (which is simply code for when it was discovered), the asteroid is the latest object from space to come near our planet.

A meteor exploded over southwestern Russia last month, injuring more than 1,500 people, Russian authorities said. In what astronomers have said was an unrelated coincidence, a larger asteroid passed by Earth the same day, about 17,100 miles away at its closest.

This Friday, a comet called Pan-STARRS will come into view over the Northern Hemisphere. A second comet, called ISON, may be visible in November. Scientists say neither comet poses a threat to Earth.

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (563 Responses)
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    April 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  2. Boring Media Hype

    Wow, I can't believe all the comments here and in how many directions this thread has undertaken. We all argue about religion like we know what we're taking about. None of us has a clue! All I know is I work hard, raised my family right and enjoy with their health and the health of those I love. I am financially stable because of my hard work in the past and present. I appreciate all that I've worked hard to accomplish and don't try and impress my thoughts and beliefs on others. I respect other people's privacy and also respect their families and loved one and respect what they own and cherish.

    If everyone on the planet did these things the world wouldn't be the cesspool it has become. Idiots in this world are not new....modern technologies have just made them much more apparent.

    Of course someone who professes to be much wiser than the rest will poke holes in what I say. To that I quote an old movie...."Frankly Scarlett...I don't give a damn!!!"

    That is all!!!

    March 10, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  3. Ted Ward

    So far, in recorded history, we have been very lucky to have not to have been majorly hit by one of these doomsday rocks. But we need to start making our own luck by keeping our eye on the skies to see what's coming and have real situational awareness for ourselves and our planet. We also probably need to develop some technology to defend ourselves in the event we discover a big rock coming our way.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Dan

      So we should mark the real close ones and on the next rotational cycle launch a mission to deal with them.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  4. Dan

    Does anyone know what the 3rd intersections celestial rotational variance is. [Over the 77 year base timeline constant with it's alignment in cascade ascendancy by tier level.] What are we talking 30 to 60 thousand miles give or take a few? So if we passed the asteroid where will it be during the next cycle of rotation? It would really be lousy to hit one of these when we are accelerating in the spring index. 56,000 mile an hour impact. ouch.

    March 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  5. charlesamiller

    So... The LAST time they predicted an asteroid would "safely" fly by the Earth, a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT asteroid that they NEVER SAW exploded over Russia and sent a thousand people to the hospital.

    March 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  6. carlb

    maybe we can shoot a payload of metal scavengers up there and let them dig up the stuff on the big rock. they would do it in a instent just for the reclaim fee. lol

    March 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Dan

      Research Roll Aspect Ratios.

      March 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  7. tribulationpress

    Reblogged this on TribPress News.

    March 9, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  8. JHise

    DUCK!

    March 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  9. Dennis Smith

    OMG–Also the killer bees are returning-And Santa's workshop is flooded with icecap water and sars and mad cow and the Mayans and north korea and the cisco kid or whatever his name is has made his transition down in Venezuela–And what about those Kardushbaggians? Save us,Al !!!

    March 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  10. Boomer

    Please stop telling us about the ones that won't hit; just tell us about the ones that WILL!!

    March 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  11. WP

    Ok, now go outside and enjoy the day.

    March 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  12. ghost

    So like...what are we supposed to do CNN? Are we supposed to panic our a**es off so you chumps will have something to report!?

    March 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Dan

      Keep your lawn chair and some popcorn available. We will notify you when to observe.

      March 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  13. JOHN SMITH

    Take ye good notice: The Astroids are getting bigger and closer to Earth all the time. I would think who ever is throwing such missles is taking His time to get His aim right so when he has given Earth enough chances he will hit Earth Dead on.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Boomer

      John Smith: Some days, I wish one would hit us!!

      March 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  14. wilsonarden

    I BUY ALMOST EVERYTHING EXCEPT FOOD AND CLOTHING FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS. MOST PEOPLE AREN'T AWARE OF THE ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE DEALS THAT THEY CAN GET FROM ONLINE AUCTION SITES. THE SITE THAT HAS THE BEST DEALS IS saveBangCom

    and i checked with the better business bureau and was told that it is all legit. how they can sell

    gift cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% off, i don't

    know. i do know that i bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250

    loews gift cards for $48. why would i even think about shopping anyplace else?

    March 9, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Boomer

      Wilsonarden: I don't know about the sites you frequent, but perhaps some sell STOLEN merchandise at those low prices. Just a thought.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  15. Fran

    Why the hell can't journalist include "where" will be the best place to see this? Which part of the sky, north, west, east, south? Best seen from China, Australia, or the US? What a half a$$ed reporting job!

    March 9, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  16. evangelin dangelo

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    March 9, 2013 at 4:06 am |
  17. evangelin dangelo

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    March 9, 2013 at 4:05 am |
    • Boomer

      I googled something like this one time and discovered it's a multi-level marketing situation. In other words, you have to go out beating the bushes to find suckers (er, associates) to do the selling for you, which of course is damned near impossible.! Good luck!!!

      March 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  18. rosethornne

    How very comforting that we would have a whole week's warning if this one were aimed towards us.

    Plenty of time for Congress to enact legislation to appoint a committe to create an investigative panel to discuss (teabaggers) whether this is a conspiracy of the illuminati, or (sane people) whether something might be done about it.

    Oh, wait, what was I thinking? We know Congress is on vacation the majority of the time. Even if we were super-lucky and they were actually in session, you know Rand Paul would just filibuster the legislation in order to babble about the super serial problem of stapler misuse.

    We're toast.

    March 9, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Boomer

      Rose: Chill out!!! None of these things will hit us; that would provide too much excitement.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  19. Oki Wan Fenokee

    I sense a disturbance in the force......

    March 9, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  20. Bud Brota

    Jesus talked about a global extinction event. He said that without His intervention, total extinction would be mathematically certain. "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." Matt 24:22
    And in addition to the "burning mountain" and falling stars, there is a predicted increase in the sun's energy hitting Earth.
    "...and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat, and they cursed the name of god who had control of these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. Revelation 16:8 ,t 9 NIV ©

    March 8, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  21. one

    use the force luke.

    March 8, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
  22. Neil Armstrong

    We'll never get out of this life alive.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  23. streetheat

    I guess we have to believe that this will not smack us. But think about it. If an asteroid or meteor was definitely going to make impact and it was going to be on extinction level, do you really think that we would be told? I doubt it.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  24. SoCalMatt

    "The asteroid was only discovered Sunday because search telescopes can't find objects of that size until they get close."

    Oh, I feel safer now. SO the best we can currently do is spot these suckers a week in advance? I hope we have some nukes ready with a lock-on target navigation system installed.

    Stop working out and drink more beer!

    March 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  25. MightyMoo

    I'm rooting for the asteroid.

    March 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  26. Chuck

    "Bill is this asteroid coming at earth because of Global Warming:"

    March 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  27. MG

    God is the ultimate scientist! I believe in god and believe in evolution. Sorry but that Adam and Eve story sounds more like a crazy fairy tale designed to put the fear of god into people. God isn't scary, god is amazing and full of love. Religion is designed to manipulate and brainwash people. Unfortunately, religion has caused wars which slaughtered millions of innocent people. Personally, I don't think god is fond of religion given its history.

    March 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  28. El Gato

    Hasn't the earth been hit by good sized objects about every 64 million years? Aren't extinctions detected at about this time frame? Hasn't the last one been 64 million years ago? I realize that even 10K years is small next to 64 million. Just a thought.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Shane

      The ELE's aren't in any specific pattern. Hell one of them was actually a bunch of smaller ones over a long time.

      March 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  29. Stewie's Girl

    Am I the only one who thinks the end is near and these are our warnings?

    March 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  30. Bravo

    Doesn't anyone ever wonder what large object has caused such disturbances in the ort cloud and asteriod belt that we are seeing more and more of these object shooting into the inner solar system?

    March 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  31. RichC

    Most asteroids are loose rubble piles, not the solid rock that people see in Star Wars. A rocket thruster would fail to alter its trajectory.

    March 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  32. Joe

    BTW...most of the posts in here are really pathetic!

    March 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  33. yarply

    According to other sources there is actually two asteroids passing by. One not mentioned here reportedly will pass within 105 thousand miles and approximately 9.5 hrs later the one mentioned in this story will swing through..

    March 8, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  34. bill

    is it just me or is anyone lese noticing the frequency of these incoming meteor....... could this be beginning signs of PLANET X in our neighborhod? Lots of rouge/ monster waves taking out beachgoers? unexplained booms everywhere. Methane gas stink in LA, Austin, Jamaica.. Get ready for PLANET X to show up soon.. Be ready the elite have their DUMBS stocked up with my tax money

    March 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Shane

      Science has ruled out Planet X a long time ago. It doesn't work on any model.

      And if it did exist, it wouldn't be affecting us just yet. The only reason the Moon affects us is because of how close it is. Jupiter's effect on the Earth is extremely minimal if even measurable at all, and so are the rest of the planets.

      March 8, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
  35. Cindi

    The world is so messed up that a collision with an asteroid, meteor or comet might just be the best thing.

    March 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  36. scott

    search telescopes can't find objects of that size until they get close. that's comforting

    March 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  37. Gwendolynn Farkle

    Oh my gracious....its the end of life as we know it......

    March 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  38. yarply

    You would think that at some point missing the earth one will nail the moon. I have never heard or read of an occasion where a meteor or anything striking the moon had been observed, yet by looking at it you would think it gets hit at least as often as the earth does and with its orbit, mathematically, the odds are it should or would be struck more often, That would be something to witness.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  39. riddler

    Too bad,... I was hoping to go out like a dinosaur.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  40. cpc65

    "The asteroid was only discovered Sunday because search telescopes can't find objects of that size until they get close." – That's rather unsettling. What if they just found it week ago and determined that it WOULD hit the Earth? There wouldn't be enough time to do anything about it by a long shot. Unless North Korea could blow it to kingdom come for us.

    March 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  41. DefyTheGods

    I love science! So, no religious comments about the end of the world?

    March 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • yarply

      just yours.

      March 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  42. Elixus

    News Flash: Asteroids and Comets pass earth all the time.... Stop freaking out.

    March 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  43. t

    .....Oh, so my former boss is on Holiday?..................

    March 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  44. MN

    Everyone pull out your magnets. Maybe we can get the asteroid to hit Earth!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Dan

      Silly you, Still laughing...

      March 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  45. rbblum

    If it is not the fault of G Bush, then blame global warming.

    March 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • MadDog

      I've seen too many instances of people, obviously terribly misinformed, questioning whether a potential asteroid impact is the result of climate change. Whatever school these Ultra Maroons attended should be shut down for failing to educate the students. Sheesh ... the mind boggles at rapant stupidity ... the best reason for birth control I've seen in a long time ... or twin beds ...

      March 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • OhNo

      Personally, I prefer to blame the noisy mis-educated right-wing. Comments often range from "missing the point" to comically wrong

      March 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  46. Double Pulsars

    If a large asteroid was calculated to hit the earth, does anyone think the governments of the world would tell people right away? Of course they wouldn't! Those politicians will try to get themselves into shelters with plenty of food and supplies BEFORE they tell the rest of us and it's because they know there will be widespread panic and riots the likes of which have never been seen before. When the time comes, it will be every man, woman, and child for themselves.

    March 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • OhNo

      There is no other way to know ... ? OMG! This is awful ... I always get my news directly from the government .. I am so screwed ...

      March 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Double Pulsars

        There are plenty of examples where the government or law enforcement agencies asked the news media to sit on a story or are you that stupid?

        March 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Dan

      No, They would probably put drones up over us to control the panic. Then they would probably try to take guns. Oh Oh....

      March 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  47. WarlockAngel

    It's sad that people use this article to argue about Obama, Christianity and Sarah Palin. The real discussion should be about this natural wonder that's sending us a loud warning. The incident in Russia should have been a wake up call. But here we go again.

    They discovered this thing on Sunday. If this thing were headed towards New York or Los Angeles they would have to notify the government. We would then hope that the government would notify us in time about the strike. In this scenario the public is likely not to be notified until Monday or Tuesday. That would give millions of people five days to evacuate a major city and surrounding areas. Have you seen evacuations during hurricanes...Katrina?

    I will honestly say that I am shocked that we were unable to discover something this size sooner instead of with such little wiggle room. This astriod is almost twice the size of the astriod that was being tracked a few weeks ago. Our space program should be well funded if not for the science and technology we discover but for sheer public safety. Let's just hope we don't get another smaller surprise that comes out of no where when this one passes by.

    March 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  48. rexedie

    when it comes down to it.... there are probably billions of planets just like earth...in the infinite realm... loaded with the same type of arrogant selfish creature man. who lives with the delusion that it is the only one of its kind. humans have created so much negative energy on this planet.... that it is beginning to attract objects toward it... sooner or later...one has got to hit.... and it will be much deserved.

    March 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • OhNo

      Starting with you ...

      March 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  49. OhNo

    Another asteroid flyby threatening the destruction of the Earth ... thanks Obama.

    March 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • palintwit

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bavou_SEj1E&w=640&h=390]

      March 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • OhNo

        Mentally ill folks having kids ... thanks Obama.

        March 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  50. Tonyny

    I don't understand why the world can't come together and create the earth protector that can blast any threat away from us. We keep on saying the big one will hit. So lets do something about it. We can create the technology

    March 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  51. Mr.Robert

    Almost 1,000,000 km seems to be a great distance, but if look at it in relative ways, it scares.
    Considering the mean distance between Pluto and the Sun, 40 AU, 6,000,000,000 km, if that distance was just 100 meters, the asteroid will pass just...1.6 cm, 16mm,, 0.64 inches...

    March 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  52. obamaphone

    We dont know about this till now because of budget cut on science and space. You can thank Obama for that. Instead our tax money goes to this...

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio&w=640&h=390]

    March 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  53. chica

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sa3ijZ6XEE&w=640&h=390]

    March 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  54. slappy_McGiggles

    With a little luck, it'll change course and hit North Korea!

    March 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  55. JM

    OK, I haven't read all the comments, but the article has a huge hole in it. It says that the asteroid was only discovered on Sunday because search telescopes can't pick up objects of that size until they get close. How, then, were we able to discover the asteroid that flew by us on February 15th so far in advance, especially considering that it was smaller than this asteroid? We knew about that one months ago (I remember reading about it at least in November, 2012).

    March 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  56. Sean 100

    When did a 600,000 miles away fly-by become "close"??

    March 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  57. wolfyb

    Would it not make sense to have an orbiting deflector rocket? By the time we discover these things, it is too late to do anything about it.

    March 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  58. So Sad

    Non-Believers and atheists are still in denial of the obvious that they did not and cannot self-create themselves and that it took a power much greater than they can ever imagine to give them their life! So sad to see them go into Eternal Decay but then again it's their personal choice.

    March 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • wolfyb

      Belief is a personal choice, not reality.

      March 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • Is this it

        So, in essence wolfyb, you choose to believe that you are so powerful, omniscient, and mighty as to have been able to create yourself?

        March 8, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Something Wrong With Their Thinking

      So Wolfy, in effect, you are saying that you created yourself?

      March 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • OhNo

      The process of evolution created us and all life on Earth..... true fact. A supernatural excuse for life is not needed.

      March 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • Youre Grossly Inaccurate

        You're SO wrong! Evolution is the atheist's Cop-Out story in order to a avoid having to believe in the reality of sin. Without God allowing for sacred life to propagate there would be no one alive today. End of story!

        March 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
      • Creation Not Evolution

        That is correct, Youre Grossly Inaccurate! Atheists DO cop-out by using evolution as a mother's skirt to hang on to! That way they can sin as much as they can and they feel there will be no repercussions later on but there will be! They may not want to acknowledge it now but brother in the afterlife it's going to be a very different and very SAD story for them! We're trying to tell them that but their false beliefs in evolution will come back full circle to haunt them for Eternity when they die. But let them put it to the test and they'll soon find out for themselves! That's why many atheists throughout the world have Converted to Christianity and we applaud them for that as they are now Saved!

        March 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
      • Shane

        Then why is Atheism growing as fast as it is?

        We are many Christians converting?

        Why would an all powerful God have to rely on blood sacrifies (first animals and then his son) just to forgive people. That's just beyond stupid. Especially since most of Christianity is a direct ripoff of other religions.

        March 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
      • Shed Thy Blindness O Man

        Many do not see it that way, Shane, that atheism is growing. What is growing is the new understanding with atheists that they need not live in a dark world anymore without Salvation therefore, they are turning to Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior and becoming Born Again Christians. It is sad to see those who still retain the old ways of feeling that they self-created themselves and do not need God but they will surely learn the error in their ways when they pass-on, of that there can be no doubt. You unfortunately do not understand about the sacrifice of Jesus to Save mankind. Imagine the Son of God becoming incarnate and then laying down His life to cleanse people of their sins and give them Salvation when they decide to follow Him and His Holy principles. That speaks volumes for the most loving One of all! But to those who are blind and cannot see they will never understand the glorious Truth of Jesus Christ who died and then resurrected so that others can live for Eternity in paradise!

        March 9, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  59. yo!

    Asteroids pass earth all the time.
    If one gets too close, we just nuke it.

    March 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  60. roccotool

    If it's not flying inside the orbit of the moon, then it's not flying past Earth, is it? I know you love to panic people because you desperately need ratings, CNN, but cut it out.

    March 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  61. Ben Fraudnanke

    You know, it's not the asteroid that I'm worried about.... it's the extra baggage like the one that hit Russia that I'm more concerned about!

    March 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Shane

      The one that exploded over Russia wasn't connected to the asteroid at all.

      The meteor came in 15 or 16 hours ahead of the other one, and it came from the opposite direction which means their gravitational fields wouldn't have affected each other in the slightest.

      March 8, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  62. Religion, politics that was so 300 ago... Lets focus on the science

    It's 2013 and I can't believe people are arguing the merits ofreligion and politics in a forum that is supposed to be about the heavenly bodies and science. That's so 17th and 18th century (Age of Enlightenment). Another few hundred years to go and we might have intelligent comments actually related to science that are a majority of the forum postings. That is if we can get past these hurdles as a society and focus on the science that might actually save our butts from getting smacked by the big one.

    March 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  63. Boomer in Mo

    We'd all be better off if we never knew about these close calls. Can't do anything about it, so why worry?

    March 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  64. Why All These Asteroids, Etc.

    Why all of a sudden all of these asteroids coming our way one just has to wonder? And global warming issues more and more, despite the Republicans who won't acknowledge it and who are still in denial about it because Al Gore was right and he is a Democrat! And Sinkholes! And if it hadn't been for that Spanish gentleman who is an amateur astronomer from Spain who found the last asteroid recently we would have had no earthly idea it was even in orbit and even the world's greatest telescopes and astronomers had not discovered it. Something's up with all this!

    March 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  65. das ist mir scheißegal

    If we ever are able to locate one that is about to impact Earth, we will only have time to say "Oh Crap".

    March 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • You're So Right

      Sie sind so rechts, Freund verdammt!

      March 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  66. noSkepticnow

    can you say intergalactic Russian roulette...

    March 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • wolfyb

      Would it not make sense to have an orbiting deflection rocket? By the time these things are discovered it is too late to do anything about it.

      March 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • BThorn

        "Would it not make sense to have an orbiting deflection rocket? By the time these things are discovered it is too late to do anything about it."

        No. All asteroids are not in the same orbit and do not approach the Earth from the same direction. It would be best to have such a rocket ready on Earth, where it can be launched into the correct orbit to meet the threat. But even more effective would be to beef up detection systems, probably with satellites down toward the orbit of Venus (where they can look out and not be blinded looking into the sun as we are here on Earth), so we won't be surprised in the first place.

        March 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • MadDog

        No. First off, you don't want to impact an asteroid in a futile attempt to redirect it. Many asteroids are rocky so all you'd end up with are a whole lot of little impactors. It takes considerable thrust or gravitational pull to redirect something of considerable mass. F=MA, remember? We could intercept an asteroid several monts out, land on it (assuming we can even do that) and apply thrust at a angle or perpendicular to the path. Or we could intercept, again several months out, and keep a somewhat massive object (rocket) in close proximity to the asteroid and use gravity to SLOWLY redirect the orbit. But both ideas take time and knowledge of orbits. Better yet, we, as a species, need to move off this rock, get all of our eggs out of one basket, so to speak.

        March 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • mccainin4

        That brings up a good point – how do you KNOW that a surface explosion would create "several impactors?" Properly done, an explosion >45 degrees from the orbital path would deflect the asteroid (or fragments) by arc-microseconds. Give me a brick of C-4 and an early enough interception and I can save the world!

        March 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • yarply

        Deflection would be a more reasonable solution.

        March 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • Joe

        Hopefully it goes off course and hits San Francisco and then skips like a flat rock on water and takes out D.C. or N.Y.C.

        March 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
      • alex

        Even if it did break up into a bunch of smaller pieces, wouldn't that be better? A asteroid this size intact would have made it through our atmosphere. If it was in 10 pieces maybe we'd have some of those Russian fireball incidents but better than an impact crater or tsunami wave.

        March 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
      • hecep

        Sounds like Joe is from the worst side of Skunkpatch, Alabama.

        March 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
      • Evan

        Obviously you're not a meteorite collector. Do you know how much fragments of these space rocks are worth per gram? You could have a field day on eBay (if you survive the asteroid's impact, that is).

        March 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
      • Batman

        I think you watch too many movies. Asteroids are composed primarily of iron. Destroying it would be virtually impossible and a explosion has no inertia in space without accompanying mass, and thrust is only achieved by an opposing force of the same. If NASA tells you they can do it, be sure they only want money.

        March 9, 2013 at 2:28 am |
      • skunkpatchjames

        Born and raised in Alabama and have been living here in Florida for fifteen years and find it refreshing ti know my home state has such a high status...for you boys and girls who are still wet behind the ears you only know what you think you know...Even with all the information which can be found on the net today , the teens and those age 21 are still blind to the reality facing this nation and the whole world...that being the truth is unfolding in front of all people that the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob is about to turn Hell loose on this earth in fact it has already begun.

        March 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • sheep

        they've been waiting for you

        March 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
      • sheep

        for wolf, they're waiting for you

        March 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Or...

        You could drop a solar sail on it.

        If it's just detected you can't get to it in time. Not enough delta-V to match orbits, but, with enough notice, a missile in space COULD deflect it if had enough time and fuel to match orbits, drop the sail package on it, and speed it up so it would pass through Earth's orbit BEFORE the Earth got there... a couple of mm/sec change in velocity over several years would guarantee a miss...

        March 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • one

      what you sow is what you get,
      are we creating fear on the planet?
      all that bad energy at our fellow humans beings
      is back to us in underclosure ways.
      use the force luke.

      March 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • one

      use the force luke.

      March 8, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Sndrmrv

      MUST BE BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. AL WHERE RE YO. WE NEED YOU. PLEASE SAVE US AL.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • UK_Seve

      “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action” ...Mishter Bond.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • SacramentoQueen

      This is all wrong! First: The telescopes are not designed to spot a huge space debris, until it is too close?? WTH? Second: The Meteor that injured those people in Russia was unseen via telescope? Also is unrelated to the actual one everyone was aware of. WTH? THIRD...Welp three times is enough to remind us all how vulnerable our precious planet is. We as a race by nature, take this all for granted. I'd say enjoy the time we have with our families. Obviously something such as the size of a meteor, that would destroy life as we know it, well...it would be too late for us to do anything because our dang telescopes won't see the MF

      March 9, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • HotJobsOahu.Com

      somebody in outer space is trying to send us a message.

      March 10, 2013 at 3:51 am |
  67. hopingfordevineintervention

    I'm offering fervent appeals, short of sacrificing a liberal (which isn't entirely off the table) to have LR Hubbard intervene and steer the asteroid to impact on the White House and Congress (all children must be evacuated).

    March 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • werthrough

      Leave the children there. They will just grow up to be the same..

      March 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Ron

      When he's done with that have him drop another one on Wall Street.

      March 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • David

      We have dolts that arre worried that global warming is going to end civilization. Yea, right. This is a perfect example of what I tell people will be our demise. Note how little time we would have were this rock on a collision course. A hit in the middle of the States would be catastrophic. This will be our end, or maybe a super volcano, but global warming? Phhhhtttttt.

      David

      March 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • Rich

        "We have dolts that arre worried that global warming is going to end civilization. Yea, right. This is a perfect example of what I tell people will be our demise. Note how little time we would have were this rock on a collision course. A hit in the middle of the States would be catastrophic. This will be our end, or maybe a super volcano, but global warming? Phhhhtttttt."

        This is like saying: A truck can kill me on the road, hell maybe even a bull dozer.. but Smoking? I'll never die from smoking! Phhhttttttt.

        March 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • theJackal

        Any one that still believes in Anthropogenic Global Warming is a complete dolt... Since there is no warming. Even using the UN's Climate Research Unit's own numbers show's ZERO warming in 16 years. Killer whales drowning under polar ice, people freezing to death by the hundreds in Russia, entire fishing fleets frozen in place in the harbor for the first time in 125 years. You warmists are off your flipping rockers!

        March 9, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • tbgrssuk

      You should save your appeals for some intelligence for yourself.

      March 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • bumpkin

        OOP! OOP! We meet the one who holds the corner market on intelligence! Aw, I bet you are just marketing your kind of intelligence and are using the free advertising here! Good move!

        March 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Aacon

      Gosh that person types " liberal " in every reply they make here and elsewhere.There needs to be some kind of obsessive illness named for that behavior or at least call it ' liberalphobia ' 😛

      March 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • vbscript2

      If you evacuated all of the children from D.C., would there be anyone left?

      March 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
      • Eli

        Lol !!!!!!!

        March 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Mikoid

      @ hopingfordevineintervention... Maybe it'll hit you in the forehead. That should absorb the impact...

      March 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • bb_959

        Are you insinuating that they are a 'Fat Head'?

        March 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Mike

      Look who's a funny guy! Just had to throw politics in the mix huh? Division sure is addictive

      March 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • al

      Hello: You are literate enough to use fervent, but fall into the buzz-phrase, poser use of impact as a verb. Please stop.

      March 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • BKohime

      I don't understand your meaning. If you evacuate all the children from Congress, there won't be anyone left in Congress!

      March 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  68. BobStrebs

    The assroid's name is Bloomberg.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  69. amongbutnotof

    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    1 Corinthians 1:18-25

    March 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • BobStrebs

      Apparently the WH will be spared.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • bostontola

      Thanks for that bible reference, it explains a lot to me about why some christians have disdain for science. Too bad it's built in.

      March 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Peep4Reality

      So your point is that the wiser you are, the more likely you will be killed by your god. The more intelligent you are, the more frustrated you will be? Makes perfect sense for religion. Keep them dumb so they believe your nonsense and they're much easier to control. God only wants unwise and unintelligent people for himself.

      March 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Fred

        Typical gnu atheist, popping off on a subject about which you know nothing in a weak attempt to show how "smart" you are. You are either deliberately misreading the quote above or you are semi-literate. The quote means nothing more or less than that the wisdom of the wisest human, being finite, is dwarfed by the wisdom of God, being infinite. It in no way implies that anyone should be ignorant or stupid. It is simply a call for humility in the face of that which is inconceivably larger than ourselves.

        March 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • Shane

        I will destroy the Wisdom means he's just smarter?

        March 8, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
      • Frank

        No Peep, the message is that the more intelligent you are the more likely you are to be arrogant in your intelligence – to think you know everything.

        March 9, 2013 at 12:45 am |
      • Tman

        Subject, stick to it, p brains

        March 9, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • parcsinoigiler

      ...sounds already destroyed&frustrated!

      March 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • krehator

      How many false predictions does it take for common sense to kick in?

      March 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • skunkpatchjames

        It is easy to discern coments by those who are young in years, whiçh are a part of the lost generation...If it were not for the God of all creation who was, is and will always be there would be no science nor scientist...you can not understand Gods word because you are full of the lies and deceit of the god of this current evil world...you know not because you seek not the truth...

        March 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • dave

      ANY quote that comes from the bible is BS. No bigger compilation of lies and myths exist any where except maybe the Koran. ALL religions are BS

      March 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • Robert

        Troll

        March 8, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
      • bushgirlsgonewild

        Blow me

        March 9, 2013 at 10:20 am |
      • bushgirlsgonewild

        That was meant for Robert

        March 9, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • mccainin4

      Beware false prophets.

      March 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Robert

      I would just like to point out you took those versus way out of context. Let me guess baptist lmfao.

      March 8, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • bushgirlsgonewild

      Oh, crap, more stuff from the Babble.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:18 am |
  70. Crocker

    Lesson learned here is that if an object is on a collision course with earth, we won't know about it, or be able to DO anything about it in time to save our collective necks. It's all about chance.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • parcsinoigiler

      chance, yeah, mankind is the outcome of such impacts, who knows what life would consist of without those happening several times in the past?
      had they been even heavier, maybe only insects or alike would inhabit the planet now...

      March 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Shane

      Something would cause an ELE, we'd likely know about it in advance. This isn't an ELE object,

      March 8, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  71. Anal Wraith

    What did Davie Crockett say when he saw all the Mexicans running toward the Alamo ?

    WHO ORDERD CONCRETE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Crocker

      So, you were there I take it?

      March 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Lefty Coaster

      About your user ID...

      March 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  72. Moronga Master

    That asteroid should hit the Westboro Baptist Church !!!!!! Hail Satan !!!!!! Down with those backward pea brained pieces of excrement !!!

    March 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • RJW

      What have their people done to you?

      March 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • Johnny069

        They are the group of "Christians" (and yes, the parantheses are necesary) that picket outside of and mock the funerals of miltiary servicemen, spew hate towards gays and other minorities, and other acts of hate to "show Christ's unconditional love" to others. They are a terrible representation of humanity and a fantastic landing spot for the an asteroid. The world would be a better place if it got rid of all who spew hate and intolerance.

        March 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • chica

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sa3ijZ6XEE&w=640&h=390]

      March 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • Joe

        Well, there goes 99.8% of the CNN posters!

        March 8, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  73. Capitan Pinga Loca

    All hail the dark lord himself Lucifer !!!!! May the warmth of his dark shroud embrace all you non believers !!!!! These asteroids are Satan's hemoroids falling to earth !!!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Crocker

      It ain't warm in Hell. It's hotter than anything you can imagine.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • OdysseusV

        Actually Hell is kinda dark and cold usually 6 feet under sometimes more sometimes less. The roots of the word come from a meaning to cover over or conceal with dirt or earth. The idea that Satan has been commissioned by God to rule over anyplace is both un-scriptural and idiotic! Satan made himself a god only by stealing worship from the father and bringing misery or" hell " on earth. Using a different more modern meaning for hell!!

        March 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • Jed Clampett

        And what? You speak from experience?

        March 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • Visara

        No it's not. You see, when you're dead, you're dead. You're incapable of feeling anything. And even if you DID somehow live on into the spirit world, you don't have a brain so you're not able to feel physical pain. How would you know if it's hot? All hot is, is your skin sending a signal to your brain telling it it's hot. If you're dead, you don't have a body any more and that can't happen. Please try to use some logic before posting your religious dribble. Thanks.

        March 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  74. Mofongo Jones

    To all you ignorant christians who believe that the earth 5000 years old. Try science. The bible is not history or science. It is a book of mythology. Also remember........It is better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven!!!!!

    March 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • livingasahuman

      You couldn't even rule your own house.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • Moronga Master

        I rule my house with your mother as my maid

        March 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • dieter

        he can't even be the master of his own domain

        March 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • GebusChristLordAndSavior

      I am an atheist, and I know that after you strip all of the divine mumbo jumbo out of the bible what you are left with is a book that tells the story of the atrocities that humanity is capable of. It is more of a cautionary tale, and a bit of insight in to how to conduct yourself to potentially avoid said atrocities.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • RJW

        So you're telling me your life has no meaning and I shouldn't care what you have to say?

        -Christian

        March 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Nsain69

        Well said

        March 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • BobStrebs

      MofoJones the Moronmaster f uckyo u very much for your insights. Now go cook a baby for lunch, and drink a little blood for your indigestion.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Fred

        Spoken like a true "christian".

        /facepalm

        March 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • OdysseusV

      You are right the Bible is not a science book, however, taking many peoples misreading of the scriptures by assuming that the creative days mentioned in genesis were literal days of an exact length is also wrong! The ancient Aramaic word for day used in Genesis by Moses meant an unusually long period of time marked by a beginning and an end. Most closely related to the word scientists use to describe geological periods called an epoch! In fact Genesis 1:1 states that in the beginning God created the Heavens and Earth end of statement. Then verse 2 states He turned his attention to the earth after everything else had been created an it was in a void of life type of state, so He began special creative works on it starting the 6 days of creation. So scientists may very well be right that the Earth itself may be billions of years old as we measure time currently. But life on Earth is much younger.

      March 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Fred

        Funny how it doesn't mention the dinosaurs, huh?

        God, religious people can really be pretty dumb. Blind faith, blinding them to the truth.

        March 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        why would any god worthy of the name need any time to create anything? wouldnt a god simply go...'let there be everything'...and poof! there it all is in an instant?

        March 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • parcsinoigiler

      I imagine, after singing a zillion hallelujahs, some sneak out for a cigarette/coffee break at hell 😉

      March 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • parcsinoigiler

        ...sorry, the above should have been a reply to mofongo jones

        March 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  75. Chris

    Silly non-sense answer. Obama has done plenty to undo the massive corruption and profit taking by Chainey and his herd while working behind the WBush puppet. It would have been refreshing if Bush had asked to reverse some of the infrastructure failure in this country, we would be better off. Obama has done more for the American people than all of the Bush Clan all the while fighting off the Do-Nothing Republicans. The only Republican I have any respect for is Christy. He is really working for all of his people (unlike the rest of the Old House Republicans). Lincoln must be spinning in his grave at a high rate of speed.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • werthrough

      He has been "spinning in his grave" mainly because he was murdered before he could send the blacks out of this country as his original plan dictated! DAMN I wish he would have been successful with at least that feat before he was killed..

      March 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Ghandi

        I don't know if anyone has mentioned this to you... but you appear to be a racist. Or a racist troll. I'm not denying Lincolns plans here, but your chagrin at his failure is disappointing to me.

        March 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • werthrough

        Well, his failure was, and STILL IS a disappointment to me!. Label me as you may. The truth will hurt you liberals one day...

        March 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
      • mccainin4

        Better waiting for the day when the truth hurts than living a lie each and every day!!!

        March 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Joe

        Really? You should be sterilized and not allowed to breed!

        March 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • chuck

      Furthure evidence identified and accepted as preseneted. One less moron to concern myself with.

      March 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • lance

      Spoken as only a true low information voter can, right off the play script. Your EBT card just got another $50.00 credit loaded on it.

      March 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • addison

      Chris you are a nutcase. I have two bowls of nuts, the bowl on the far right is just as nutty as the bowl on my far left. Thankfully most of us live and think nearer to the center.

      March 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Frank

      Psst...Chris,

      Jabba the Christie still hasn't helped the NJ people after Sandy. There are many people still homeless and/or without power.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  76. werthrough

    I wish it would hit Chicago..

    March 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • R Dog

      You're an idiot

      March 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  77. palintwit

    Tea party patriots believe that the movie Deliverance is an accurate depiction of consevative christian life in America.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • amerikan_patriot

      Hopefully this one nails DC and NY before the occasional jumbo can finish the job ! Please let this be the one !

      March 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • sandnomad

      Since you are so well versed in Tea Party Patriots and Conservative Christians, I can only conclude that you are either one or possibly both. So, you should actually understand why God made hell such a big place, considering that you must also believe that God exists and created the universe.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • palintwit

        Tea party patriots are also still mourning the loss of Peggy Rea, the actress that played Boss Hogg's wife.

        March 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  78. CaraW

    I have always thought that asteroids would be a better name for hemorrhoids.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Marky-Mark

      Great one, Cara ... I've always thought the same, but never actually verbalized it.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • Crocker

        That name was already taken so they couldn't use it. Thought you two knew......

        March 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  79. sailordude

    Earth 1 Asteroids 0

    March 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • T-Rex

      I thought the Asteroids already won.

      -Dinosaurs

      March 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • Striker

        Excellent post! You win the thread!

        March 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • Assteroidal Butt Cream

        Outstanding! You are my hero!

        March 10, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  80. Mark

    Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.
    Richard Dawkins

    March 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • JoeSeattle

      So is your lack of belief in any religion the reason you think it's OK to rape?

      March 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • Shane

        Morals are not dictated by religion. Human beings are perfectly capable of having morals without a God

        March 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
  81. Caihlyn

    Is there a statistic to support the belief that Americans are the most scientifically and mathematically illiterate people in the world? It is embarrassing to read many of the comments placed under science articles online.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • bfpiercelk

      Welcome to the internet, where anyone can voice their opinion/troll you anonymously.

      March 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • werthrough

      What makes you think we are all American? You need to be knocked down off of whatever pedestal you are standing on..

      March 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Antonio

      And what are your credentials? Because I'm sick of you low wage workers coming on here being a damn expert do you have a Phd mam? I can bet half the people on here have a degree

      March 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Joe

      Welcome to CNN. Land of the trolls and America haters!

      March 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
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