Sometimes our biggest fear is not knowing what to fear most. Fortunately, the weird science of risk analysis can teach us to judge better and fear smarter
By James VlahosPosted 06.13.2005 at 11:00 am 0 Comments
On December 27, 2004, while the world was focused on the Indian Ocean tsunami, a few astronomers were contemplating the possibility of an even deadlier disaster: that of a massive asteroid striking Earth. A fifth of a mile wide—heftier than the space rock that leveled a vast swath of Siberian forest in 1908—Near-Earth Asteroid 2004 MN4 had grabbed the attention of NASA scientists just before Christmas. They put the chance of an April 13, 2029, collision at 1 in 2,700 and two days later upped the odds to 1 in 165.