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House-Size Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave Today

Stashed in: The Universe, Explosions!

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❝ The asteroid 2012 TC4 will pass Earth at a range of just 59,000 miles (95,000 kilometers) —about one-fourth the distance to the moon — when it makes its closest point today, NASA scientists said. The asteroid was discovered by astronomers on Oct. 4 and is about 56 feet (17 meters) across. ❞

Web Developers: put your sneakers away, it's not going to destroy the earth:


Here's a breakdown of asteroid size vs. devastation by The National Library of Singapore:

  • Up to 10 meters: Explodes harmlessly in the air
  • 50 meters: Explodes in the air and causes some damage on the ground
  • 100 meters: Hits the ground and causes serious damage
  • 1 kilometer: Massive destruction which affects the whole Earth
  • 10 kilometers: Few people will survive anywhere

asteroid impact

According to this, a house-sized asteroid would probably explode in the air and maybe do some slight damage.

Also, there's a ~70% chance it hits water, and a good chance that, even if it hits land, it wouldn't hit a human settlement, as was the case with the Tunguska event (where an asteroid exploded over a Siberian forest -- unless you're a conspiracy theorist or believe that Tesla was not a nutter towards the end).

Tunguska devastation:

Tunguska devastation

You just assuaged my fear of death by asteroid. Thank you, Lucas.

I had never heard of the Tunguska devastation. I'll have to research that.

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