Pain In The Asteroid: The Earth’s Brush With Death

In a couple of days, and asteroid called 2004XP14 will pass relatively close to the Earth. Run for your lives!

An asteroid speeding across the Northern sky will make its closet approach to Earth in more than 80 years Monday night.

Not to panic anybody, but “Deep Impact” is on CBS Saturday night. Coincidence? I think not.

This is nothing, really. In 2019, we could be in bigger trouble. This time some astronomers, whose job it is to peer into the heavens and spot rogue asteroids that could end up being the celestial equivalent of Billy Joel’s car, have spotted a potential ozone hazard that could cross our path in the year 2019. Astronomers, effectively keeping with their tradition of not overly personalizing things, are calling this asteroid “NT7”.

In other words, the tension-easing message here could be “don’t sweat the global warming thing.” Stand down, Al Gore.

Astronomers tell us that NT7 is the first object to ever record a positive rating on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale. If I knew what that meant, I’d probably be scared right now. On the Palermo scale, they tell us that this particular 1 1/4 mile-wide asteroid has a threat level of 0.06. Ratings that measure between -2 and 0 warrant some level of concern. 0 through +2 is a very high risk, and a rating above +2 means that an earth-destroying event, such as a strike by an asteroid over two miles wide or Michael Moore falling down in the shower, is imminent.

Do any of us even want to know when and if an asteroid is going to wipe out our planet? It is said that this particular one that will provide us with a close shave in 2019, NT7, is large enough to wipe out an entire continent. If these astronomers really want to impress us, they’ll pinpoint which continent it will hit and make sure that the ‘N Sync 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour is in town that day. 

In 2002, an asteroid called YB5 came within 510,000 miles of earth. Chances are that NT7 will come a little closer, but not hit us on February 1st, 2019. But first we have to sweat through 2004XP14’s brush pitch on Monday. If any of these asteroids hit us, I fully expect a big booming voice from the sky to yell “take your base!”


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Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: