Saturday, November 25, 2017


But Probably Not

by Bob Walsh

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon is about half the size of the one that they think destroyed the dinosaurs a 65 million years ago or so. It is going to come very, very close to earth on December 17.

The three mile rock will come to within about 2 million miles of our orbital path, which is practically microscopic in interplanetary terms.

Astronomers speculate that it was at one time a comet nucleus that has shed much of its mass over eons. Its orbit takes it within the orbit of Mercury and beyond the orbit of Mars. It is the only rock of anywhere near it's size that does that. It is linked with the Geminid meteor shower and astronomers believe that the meteor shower is caused by material that broke off of 3200 Phaethon at some point in it's history.

Don't worry. We are almost certainly safe. This time.

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