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February 16, 2013
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"Don't make me murder you in your sleep."

So let's talk about asteroids and meteors....

ASTEROID DA14
As I write this the dearth of intellect that is social media is going ape shit over the near pass of Asteroid DA14. You can not go more than a post or two without seeing words like 'doomsday,' 'apocalypse,' and 'Bruce Willis.' And then, of course there are mind numbing posts like this one:
"...the "DA14" hasn't flown by us yet. The scientists say if it flew by 15 minutes later, well we'd all be scr*wed!"

Okay. I'd like to know which "scientist" supposedly said this. If I had to guess, it was probably one of the thousands of hack "experts" media outlets use to generate eye catching headlines. No legitimate scientist would EVER make a claim like this. And especially NOT in regards to an asteroid like DA14.

THE FACTS
Time for some goddamn education, kids. Gather round. Especially you dim ones in the back who think Michael Bay films are documentaries. Asteroid DA14 is only 50 meters in size. For perspective, consider the following:
  • Scientists generally don't get concerned until an asteroid reaches the 250+ meter range, and even then, asteroids of that size don't wreak the kind of destruction that would change climate or destroy continents.
  • Prior to 2008, the international effort to track Near Earth Asteroids didn't even bother looking for anything smaller than one kilometer. It wasn't until 2008, when much of the sky was already scanned, that scientists began searching for these lesser threats.
  • So what if DA14 did hit the Earth? Being 50 meters, the worst case scenario would be for it to fall on a highly populated area. The damage would be horrible, but contained to a localized area. What is called regional damage. But, here's the deal. Much of the land on earth isn't populated. And 70% of it is covered by ocean. Yeah. Not really an issue, is it?
  • And for those of you out there who claim, "Oh, the government would never tell us about the threat!" Sorry, but you are as dumb as a sack of hammers. Get educated. The program to track Near Earth Asteroids is an international effort, which includes several nations, universities, private industry, and a staggeringly huge community of amateur astronomers. These people all share and double check their data. In fact, many of the major discoveries over the past decade have come from amateur astronomers. A cover-up is not feasible considering the nature of how the science is done.

So am I saying asteroids aren't a risk? Absolutely not. I'm merely saying DA14 is nothing to lose sleep over. If we're going to face the future and overcome the various problems awaiting us, this sort of "Let's pretend we're living in a Michael Bay movie" bullshit has to stop. It's unhealthy, it spreads fear and misinformation, and we've got plenty of that already. So let it go and grow the fuck up.

In closing, I leave you with these words of wisdom...
"If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them."
--Isaac Asimov

"Don't be so fucking stupid."
--Josh Finney


Adendum:
Some of the self-proclaimed "geniuses" at I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE  are claiming, "Scientists only knew for a week that the asteroid was headed this way." This is ABSOLUTELY not true. Asteroid 2012 DA14 was discovered on Feb. 23, 2012. That is, in fact, why it is labeled with a "2012" date. If you need proof, here's an article from the March 2012 edition of Discover Magazine about DA14's close pass: blogs.discovermagazine.com/bad… . Hell, the article is EVEN titled, "No, asteroid 2012 DA14 will not hit us next year."

Christ, people, I am all for NEO research and development of deflection strategies, but we're not going to get there by making shit up and discrediting the very scientists who are doing this thankless job. If you want to know the facts, go to the source:  neo.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html
  • Listening to: Gary Numan, The Prince of Darkness soundtrack.
  • Reading: Various short stories.
  • Watching: Trailer Park Boys
  • Playing: OGame
  • Eating: Huh?
  • Drinking: Just coffee.
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:iconadamwithers:
AdamWithers Feb 17, 2013  Professional Artist
Word. Thanks for being a voice for da troof, yo. :iconbadassplz:
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:iconjosh-finney:
Josh-Finney Feb 28, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, well rotten science reporting (especially this topic)REALLY gets under my skin. The media has done us no favor when it comes to rational thought.
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:iconadamwithers:
AdamWithers Mar 5, 2013  Professional Artist
The goddamn media. I guess if you can't expect them to do even a half-ass job covering politics, social issues, global news, or health, then it's REALLY a stretch to believe they could do science any proper justice. :no:

And speaking of doing science justice - have you heard this song? A guy I follow on Tumblr posted it as his answer to the question "What is your religion?" Thought of you after I finished picking up the pieces of my blown mind. Then downloaded the whole CD they made of these. Makes me feel a little better about living in a world with people like this on it.
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:iconbeta368:
People are just butthurt over misreading the Mayan Calendar, I guess.
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:iconthayoman:
thayoman Feb 17, 2013  Student General Artist
and then Russia, Cuba and California get meteorites.....I share your pain. Some of the nimrod wankers out there couldnt be more clueless when it comes to anything science' probably their to busy checking their horoscopes. the meteorite that caused the KT extinction event( bye bye non-avian dinosaurs)was a staggering 10-15 km composed with a heavy and rare metal not commonly found on the surface of the earth called iridium this was all about 66,038,000 years ago so who cares right? well some scientist claim( not saying they are right or wrong but the claim does make sense) that this 10km mammoth wasn't alone when it ended an estimated 75% of plant and animal species on earth, as well as there might have been heavy environmental instability leading up to the impact so a mass extinction might have been slowly unraveling prior to the impact and was just escalated by the impact(s). sure as humans we have not really prepared much for the looming threat above our heads known as the celestial universe( cool term for outer space) we shouldn't worry about such a big event as this happening without notice, if anything what happened in the mountains of Russia just put the topic of protecting earth on a majority of the worlds politicians minds and if what i herd is correct USA is preparing to discuss the topic and im hoping my country of Canada follows their lead and maybe one day we can all be informed about this sort of happening, not too long ago people thought the earth was flat and some still think the earth is 6,ooo years old so i think ignorance of this kind has been with humanity for a long time and i dont think its going anywhere soon. all we can do is educate those around us and hope they understand.
yes an event like the events you and i mentioned are incredibly rare so we shouldn't fret, we should prepare for disaster because this is the only natural disaster we can prevent, 2012 DA14 and the ural mountain objects were small enough for our technology to deflect or atleast alter their course.
i guess ive said enough and lacked so much grammar i should just end now, i did as much research i could to verify the information i provided in this comment mind by me its almost 4am.
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