February 17, 2014
Close Encounters Of The Rocky Kind

An asteroid the length of 3 football fields just missed Earth. By contrast, the Chelyabinsk asteroid was only one fifth of a football field in length. The 1908 Tunguska asteroid was somewhere between these two objects in size.

What will happen first? A massive asteroid hit or a super volcanic eruption?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2014 February 17 09:04 PM 

D. C. Toedt said at February 18, 2014 5:02 AM:

What if a large asteroid were to hit the Yellowstone Caldera?

nanotech_republika_pl said at February 18, 2014 5:32 PM:

"... 3.4 million km..." That's almost 10 times the distance from Earth to the Moon. I thought they typically raise the alarm when the object flies by less than the distance from the Moon to Earth.

Randall Parker said at February 18, 2014 7:44 PM:


That's imaginative thinking. Some asteroids might have cracked the Earth's crust and caused volcanic eruptions.


I like to raise alarm at 10x distance to the moon as a reminder of what dangerous objects there are out there in the solar system.

Therapsid said at February 18, 2014 8:17 PM:

Arthur C. Clark suggested in "Rendezvous with Rama" that we should establish a Space Guard to protect our civilization from asteroids. It'd be a better investment than funneling hundreds of billions on climate change, certainly. It'd also be more practical than establishing a defense against massive volcanic activity on the level of the Deccan Traps eruptions from roughly 66 million years ago.

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