Friday, December 21, 2007

Asteroid may hit Mars in next month

The asteroid, known as 2007 WD5, was discovered in late November and is similar in size to an object that hit remote central Siberia in 1908, unleashing energy equivalent to a 15-megaton nuclear bomb and wiping out 60 million trees.

Scientists tracking the asteroid, currently halfway between Earth and Mars, initially put the odds of impact at 1 in 350 but increased the chances this week. Scientists expect the odds to diminish again early next month after getting new observations of the asteroid's orbit, Chesley said.

Hey, I hope it hits. We Earthlings could use the wake-up call.


Anonymous said...

Well, a 1 in 75 chance seems rather remote. But it would be cool to be able to, depending on where it could hit, image any impact from orbit during and after, if not from one of the rovers themselves!

Yeah, it's been a while since Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter--we do need a wake-up call and a real, thorough search program for NEO's, especially if the smaller, more elusive ones like is now being suggested for Tunguska has any validity.

It only takes one to fry all of us.

Anonymous said...

Prospects for Mars asteroid smash now revised to 3.9% chance--still pretty slim odds. Sigh. And I so wanted to see an Arizona-type crater created on Mars and imaged in real time.