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15th September 2023

Beyond Cinematic Catastrophes

#AsteroidDodgers #HollywoodSpaceSagas #NoApocalypseNow #DontLookUpJustYet #ArmaggeDontWorry

Good news for Earthlings! Bruce Willis can take that well-deserved vacation and Leonardo DiCaprio can keep sipping his morning coffee. The chances of a killer asteroid annihilating Earth in a fiery spectacle à la Hollywood are pretty low for the next millennium! 🎉

The latest news in the space-verse is that we’ve probably got a 1,000-year window of safety from any asteroid over a kilometre in size. Oscar Fuentes-Muñoz and the space squad at the University of Colorado say, “As far as we know, there’s no impact in the next 1,000 years.” 🪐💫

Recall the dino-disaster 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid rang Earth’s doorbell a little too aggressively? NASA says such apocalyptic events are once-in-a-few-million-years kind of things. Thankfully, recent studies have mapped out our asteroid neighbourhood, and it’s looking rather friendly for a while.

However, there’s always a twist: enter asteroid 1994 PC1, playing the role of cosmic diva. With a dramatic 0.00151% chance of swooshing super close to Earth in the next millennium, this stony starlet might just be putting on a show for the scientists without an actual crash scene.

Yet it’s vital to acknowledge that while the big players in space seem docile for now, the smaller asteroid can still deliver powerful, unexpected performances. For now, let’s rejoice, keep an eye on the skies, and maybe rewatch some asteroid blockbuster films for fun! After all, it seems life’s script has given us a bit of a breather until at least the year 3000. 🎥🍿

Full story.

Fuentes-Muñoz O., Scheeres D.J., Farnocchia D. et al. 2023, AJ, 166, 10.

#AsteroidDodgers #HollywoodSpaceSagas #NoApocalypseNow #DontLookUpJustYet #ArmaggeDontWorry

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