Stadium-Sized Asteroid Will Pass Close to Earth Saturday, June 6
There are times I see a headline and immediately think, "Of course it is." This was definitely one of those times.
When a friend forwarded me a report from KRON-TV that a stadium-sized asteroid was about to pass close to earth, my first cynical thought was, "Good. Bring it on."
Hey, it's tough to fight my pessimistic nature these days. Look around.
But the good news (for people who enjoy not going extinct) is that it is just a close pass of about 3,106,000 miles. That's mere millimeters in the grand scheme of things, but the planet will be safe as object 2002 NN4 (as the asteroid is called) passes by Earth on Saturday, June 6.
What's interesting is that, according to Space Reference, 2002 NN4 is classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid due to its predicted close passes with our world. It orbits the sun every 300 days, isn't expected to pass so close to Earth again until June 7, 2029. If we ever get satellites, telescopes, and space stations far enough out, a great deal of complicated math is going to be needed to ensure they aren't wrecked by all the objects whirling 'round out there.
News like this can really put things into perspective. Right now we're a world in distress, barely managing a global pandemic while here at home in the States we're trying to correct countless injustices. There's no telling where everything is leading. You hope to somewhere positive, but it's always a crapshoot.
While we try to get our house in order on this pale blue dot, the cosmic ballet goes on, and will likely go on for eons after the final people have faded away. From that cosmic perspective, all the petty, superficial things we have too often allowed to divide us or stoke our fears of each other seem so foolish.
I don't want to get on a soap box and preach, but I think taking a step back and looking at our world from high above it can be refreshing and remind us that we've got to continue striving to understand and appreciate one-another, because this is very likely the one world we'll have and the one shot we'll get.