2007 TU24 miss distance update

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Jan. 23 2008 5:30 PM

2007 TU24 miss distance update

According to Don Yeomans at NASA's JPL, the asteroid 2007 TU24 will miss us by about 530,000 km (334,000 miles) on January 29. It was earlier reported to be a distance of about 700,000 km, so it'll be a tad closer than earlier thought.

However, before some evil scaremonger runs with this, that doesn't mean OH NOEZ WE DON'T KNOW WHERE IT WILL BE! It means instead that we do know where it will be, better than we did before. It won't come anywhere near enough to hit us, and it will have no effect on us at all. It'll be hard to see; it's a faint 10th magnitude, meaning you'll need a big 'scope to see it.

Advertisement

Put it this way: asteroids pass us at this distance all the time, and here we are. No fires, no lightning, no earthquakes... at least, no more than you'd expect to occur randomly. Asteroids this size are only a problem if they hit us, or they might hit us in the future.

So, despite some very misleading tactics by people on the web, we're not in any danger. I'll have more on this later (by "this" I mean the scare mongering), too, since this has turned into a whole big thing. But I'm still right, and others still wrong.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.