Yeomans Discusses Near-Earth Objects

On February 15th, a 164 foot asteroid known as asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly closer to Earth than the geosynchronous GPS navigation and communication satellites that dutifully surround us. Don’t put your doomsday pants on yet, though. At a range of around 17,200 miles, we are completely safe from any chance of impact as asteroid 2012 DA14 flies by. Don Yeomans, author of Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us, explains that we can rest assured that there will be no real life Armageddon any time during our lifetime in both his book and a recent interview with Space.com. Yeomans and his colleagues work to find near-Earth objects which include asteroids and comets, and to track their positions over time. Recently, asteroid Adophis was cleared of any possibility of hitting Earth when it comes around in 2029  and again in 2036. If an asteroid appears to be threatening a collision with Earth, Yeoman and his team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California have some options in line to steer it away from Earth. In an article for Scientific American Magazine, Yeoman says that if an asteroid aiming for Earth were to be detected today, we would have 50 years to prepare for it. As for the dinosaurs that were wiped out because of a NEO, Yeomans says that if they had a space program, maybe they’d still be roaming the Earth. Continue to sleep soundly without fear of an end to civilization at the hands of an asteroid impact to our planet, and check out the videos from the interview.

Part 1

Part 2