The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS, is stationed on top of Mount Haleakala in Hawaii, turning its 1.4 gigapixel camera on the skies in search of potentially hazardous objects. Now, just three months after its PS1 telescope went online, it's found one.
Designated 2010 ST3, this asteroid will come within four million miles of Earth in October and there's a very slight chance that it will hit us in 2098. Were that to come to pass, at 150 feet across, the impact would have the effect of a 20 megaton bomb. However, the impact is highly unlikely. The Earth and 2010 ST3 occupy the same potential volume of space in 2098, but that volume is huge. As time goes on and projections get more precise, it's likely that we'll find that the Earth will end up outside of the asteroid's path.
What's amazing is that Pan-STARRS located it this early. On September 16, when the asteroid was first spotted, it was still 20 million miles away. No other existing asteroid survey could have found it. That bodes well for the identification of any future threatening objects. Pan-STARRS predicts that they will be able to locate tens of thousands of new asteroids each year and any that may come close to Earth will be labeled "potentially hazardous" and be closely watched.
Sweet, time to get my Asteroid Demolition Team together, we accept cash and all major credit cards.
In 2098, strap Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis into a rocket and let them do their thang.
Maybe by then, we'll have a better way of protecting the Earth from killer asteroids than shooting nukes at it.
2098?! I'm pretty confident in our race's ability/want to destroy itself by then.
I'm with Chad, my bet is on us destroying ourselves before any asteroid.
i hope to get enough money to have my own man made island in the ocean that is self powered and then after everyone has killed em selfs ill just go to the USA break into bill gates house and live there. I might have to fight off a radioactive bill gates though but w/e. anyone wanna join me?
Everybody knows the Jovians are the ones to catch the most hell from all that space crap flying around out there.
"Welcome! to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack!!!"
Let's just hope Chuck Norris is still alive by then! He is our only hope.
1) A 20 megaton is a big exsplosion, but space is big and an impact is highly unlikely. They will likely eventually find thousands of closer calls than this one in the coming year.
2) 20 megs will level a good sized city, but IF on hits, it is most likely to hit the water (70% chance).
3) Even if it does hit land, the odds of it hitting a major city are slight.
4) Even if it does hit a major city - there are no cities in the world that society would colapse over (even DC, NY, or Bej).
I hope it hits smack in the middle of Tehran!!