Thursday, May 04, 2006

Asteroid HZ51 could hit Earth

Recent observations had led astronomers from all around the globe to think that a newly discovered asteroid, named HZ51, could hit the Earth as soon as in year 2008. Although the probabilities of an impact are actually very low (one in six million), the NASA will continue to observe the behaviour shown by this asteroid that has an 800 meter diameter.
Are we prepared for an outer space collision? The answer is no. To perform an operation similar to the one we saw in Armaggeddon is utopic, that wouldn't solve the problem. The truth is that our science is too far behind from having the necessary technology to divert the orbit of an object in the outter space. So the most we could do in such an emergency would be to evacuate the zones that will be more damaged by the catastrophe, and maybe we could store food and supplies that would let the affected people survive for some years. But nothing else.
The NASA published an interective chart that shows a simulation of HZ51's orbit in the internet, click here to get redirected to the site, or simple copy and paste the following address in your browser; believe me it's worth to see:
Fortunately, it seems that HZ51 won't hit our planet, but its proximity in 2008 will remind us how small we are in this universe.


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