A 2 metre asteroid has a 0.5% chance of hitting Earth this year

A 2 metre wide asteroid has a 1 in 200 chance of entering Earth’s atmosphere on November 2 this year. The most likely scenario is that it will blow up in the atmosphere, causing some damage at the surface.

The Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia in 2013 caused ~1,491 human injuries and some property damage (mostly shattered windows). This was 20 m wide, so we can expect less damage than that, but still some kind of damage.

There’s not much we can do about it now except monitor it to better understand up the impact probability, and where it would hit if it did.

Segue – Look at the headline and first paragraph of this Channel 7 News article.

“Astrophysicist weighs in on asteroid zooming towards earth” sounds scary, and “The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is monitoring an asteroid that appears to be on a direct collision course with earth.” sounds like we’re a bit fucked.

Asteroid impacts are no laughing matter, and I think we should be more worried about them in general than most of the public is (you’re more likely to be killed by an asteroid than a shark), but this kind of click/scarebait in news is frustrating.

News outlets are barely held accountable for misleading or false information, let alone clickbait, and that needs to change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: