The Arkanssouri Blog.: Size matters.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Size matters.

Disparate views of the same upcoming potentially literally earth-shattering event:

Small, Earth-crossing asteroid to make July 3 flyby.



Science, Engineering and Technology News characterizes the object as "massive." Playfuls describes it as "Apollo-class," which is apparently a reference not to it's size, but to it passing through or as they describe it "hitting" Earth's orbit. Australia's The Age calls it a "potential Earth-mover." Like a child that can't wait until Christmas morning to open his presents, OhMyNews jumps the gun by calling it a "Killer Asteroid." ShortNews, oddly, is the voice of reason on the matter, declining to characterize it subjectively and instead gives us the actual size.

Unless I've missed it, however, nobody is giving odds on it actually striking the Earth. The closest I can find comes from the Minor Planet Center, via the JPL:

Due to the proximity of its orbit to Earth and its diameter, 2004 XP14
has been classified as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid"...

But there's no need to worry, honest! The government will protect you.

The International Astronomical Union, in case you're wondering, has been keeping itself busy naming things after multi-headed snakes and lice medicine. Glad to know they're staying productive.

For my part, the proximity of the asteroid's arrival to Independence Day does not go unnoticed.


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