Giant Asteroid Misses Earth!

As predicted by the laws of physics, an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier has missed the Earth, sparing us the fate of the dinosaurs.


(NASA scientists watch asteroid hurtles by)

The 1,300-foot-wide asteroid came within roughly 201,000 miles of the planet, within the moon's orbit. Posing no threat to Earth, it allowed NASA scientists at the Deep Space Network antenna in the Mojave Desert their closest peek ever at such a massive space rock.

The radar images were detailed enough to allow NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, based in La Caņada Flintridge, to create a short video of the spinning asteroid as it approached.

The thing that really gets to me about the picture above is the fact that it has been repeatedly portrayed in at least a dozen different science fiction novels and books. I was trying to think of the ones I could name:

  • Lucifer's Hammer (1977 Niven & Pournelle novel)
  • Meteor (1979 movie)
  • Armageddon (1998 movie)
  • Deep Impact (1998 movie)
  • Meteor (2009 TV mini-series)
I'm sure there must be lots of others; any earlier than Niven and Pournelle? I guess you could count When Worlds Collide, even though it uses a planet rather than an asteroid.

Via La Times.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/8/2011)

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