With the way the world is going, it can feel like the apocalypse isn't far off. Climate change, Trump, nuclear war, asteroids, an artificial intelligence takeover ... those science fiction scenarios don't seem so far-fetched now. If you're like me and like to be prepared for all outcomes, I've got some good news: humans will be able to survive extinction after the apocalypse. How? Mushrooms!
Have you ever wondered what the surface of an asteroid looks like? Well wonder no more, because the world has been blessed with pictures of Ryugu, a diamond-shaped asteroid the Japanese Space Agency has a spacecraft hanging around. The photographer is a little shoebox-sized probe named MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) who bounced around the asteroid and snapped some pics for us. Thanks, buddy.
NASA has a special treat for us this Halloween: Narrowly escaping the destruction of the planet!
Well, sort of. Through the use of their new computer program called Scout, NASA has determined that a potentially-dangerous asteroid will be breezing past Earth by a mere 310,000 miles. Rejoice! We’re going to be ok!
Scout is part of a new detection system that alerts us when a giant piece of space rock is on its way, hurdling towards Earth at thousands of miles per hour. Think of it like Domino's Pizza Tracker, but for things that could potentially destroy our entire planet and not just your body.
“Objects can come close to the Earth shortly after discovery,” he continued. “The main goal of Scout is to speed up the confirmation process... Our goal right now is to find 90 percent of the 140-meter asteroids and larger.”
Now, what would we do if an asteroid were to hit Earth? Well, scientists are still working on that. In the meantime, here’s a clip from the Ben Affleck’s commentary track for the Criterion Collection DVD of Armageddon, in which mercilessly makes fun of the movie and its director, Michael Bay. More reason to not put “landing a spaceship on an asteroid, drilling a hole in it, and blowing it up” on the list of “Possible Solutions for Asteroid Hitting Earth.”
NASA's Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, California captured this striking footage of Toutatis, an asteroid that flew by on December 12 and 13, about 4.3 million miles from Earth. Meanwhile, the Chinese National Space Agency also took interest in the three-mile-long rock by coordinating its Chang'e 2 space probe to fly by and take pictures at a close proximity of 3.2 km (2 miles) and relative velocity of 10.73 km per second, according to an official statement. Toutatis is known to make a trip around the sun every four years and the next close encounter will arrive in November 2069.