janenx01: dduane: azurelunatic: mamasam: tonyabbot: scary-monsters-and-davesprite: lonelyinsom…










Orbital path of asteroid near miss in 2002. Yah, that’s how close we came to nuclear winter and possible total destruction.

A visitor.


It’s not an asteroid. It’s an old piece of a Saturn rocket or something like that. We weren’t in any danger from this one.

Still cool though.

I’m curious what makes you believe this is not about an asteroid. Looking at the dates in the lower lefthand corner of the gif, it seems likely that this is a reconstruction of the path of asteroid 2002 MN, which came within 75,000 miles of Earth on June 14, 2002. There’s some more information about it at Wikipedia and New Scientist.

In light of the information there, the OP’s comment about “nuclear winter and possible total destruction” does sound over-the-top. 2002 MN was calculated to be about 80 meters across, large enough to have caused an explosion comparable to the Tunguska event in Siberia in 1908, but nothing like nuclear winter (unless a nuclear-weapons-equipped nation misidentified the asteroid’s impact as a nuclear attack and retaliated, unleashing a global nuclear war, which I guess is possible).

If you look at the plotted orbit, a Saturn rocket (or anything launched from Earth) seems really unlikely. The bulky parts of those never get very far from Earth, whereas this thing arrived from way out yonder, at least according to the gif.

Note that I didn’t investigate any of this until I saw your reblog questioning my initial reblog of the post, so thanks for giving me the incentive to do that. I could totally have been guilty of passing on a cool-but-bonkers Tumblr lie. On further investigation I think the asteroid part, if not the potential consequences, sounds pretty solid, but I was just lucky about that. In a sense that makes this post, like 2002 MN, a fortunate near-miss, not recognized by the party in jeopardy until after the fact. :-)

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1iFiLDB.

Tags: tumblr lies, asteroids.

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