2012 DA 14 on February 15, 2013


On February 15th breathe a sigh of relief as asteroid 2012 DA14 miraculously passes us by. No need to worry about a collision, this one will be close but harmless. When I say close, I mean really, really close. The moon is around 240,000 miles away, DA14 will pass an estimated 21,000 miles from earth. In cosmic terms, this is about as close a call as you get.

DA14 is only about 150 feet wide; certainly nothing like the KT asteroid that is suspected of wiping out the dinosaurs. The trouble with asteroids is that they move so fast, even a little rock can be cataclysmic. In 1908 an asteroid about the same size is suspected of smashing into Siberia. Known as the Tunguska Comet it pancaked miles of forest and killed herds of reindeer. Had it found a city, the bad day would have been epic.

http://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-2012-da14-will-pass-very-close-to-earth-in-2013

We tend to forget  our fragile existence. Far from suggesting we fret over cosmic calamities; my only hope is at some point it will sink in that squandering our lives is rather absurd. I’ll cut some slack on the 20 something crowd, but for those years we would all be dull. Beyond that – I say; no excuses.

Look at the stars, plant a garden, try making bread simply because it smells so good while baking, send a hand written letter before you forget what cursive writing is, travel – understand the world can not be seen from an all inclusive resort or cruise ship, better yet – take a road trip. Vow to never “tweet” about celebrities – ever again! Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, and realize it doesn’t matter how much money you make.

The Mayan calendar silliness should have taught us something. Asteroids whiz by; DA14 a little close for comfort, but no different from talk of the long overdue Yellowstone super volcano or anticipated mega quakes. We have one shot at life, there are no “do overs”, what a waste of time to spend it poorly.

KT Asteroid


Sixty five million years ago the K-T asteroid (Cretaceous-Tertiary) slammed into the Gulf of Mexico. Geologists searching for oil discovered what is believed to be the impact crater; near Chicxulub on Mexico‘s Yucatan Peninsula. Over 80 miles wide the crater rests in shallow ocean, and is credited to KT; estimated to have been at least 10 miles across.

The force was greater than a billion atom bombs. With speed measured in thousands of miles per second, almost as hot as the surface of the sun, KT vaporized everything within hundreds of miles.  The blast wave travelled at over 10 miles per second, annihilating any living creature long before the debris even reached them. The intense heat incinerated plant life, our world burned as debris from the initial blast rained down. Thousands upon thousands of blast chunks, fell from the sky. Thick smoke made sure anything left alive could no longer bask in sunlight. Lets not forget the tsunami. Estimated to be at least 1000 feet high, scientists have found evidence of Mexico from that period as far north as Colorado. KT triggered earthquakes and land slides, plunged our world into a global winter, and eradicated 70% of life on earth.

History is a funny thing. Most people can wrap their head around the past three, five, or even ten thousand years. Beyond that history tends to enter the realm of science fiction. We know dinosaurs existed, we see their bones in museums, and learn their names as children. The time of man is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of years they ruled supreme. KT was nasty business; yet doubt I would be writing this without it.

Artist's rendering of the asteroid impact that may have led to the K-T extinction event