Russian Scientists have released data indicating a large 60-meter asteroid (2012 DA14) is plummeting towards earth with an expected collision date by February 2013 stating, “[sic]… time to build a spaceship to confront it, has run out.”
Researchers are now considering utilizing one of two methods to divert the potential disaster first, to “paint” the asteroid causing it cool down hopefully causing the killer asteroid to avert course, or to utilize “big guns” to knock the asteroid off course propelling it past the earth’s gravitational field averting a collision with the planet.
The asteroid was spotted nearly three years go by a group of “stargazers” from Spain at a distance of 16,700 miles closer than the orbit of geosynchronous satellites utilized for global positioning instruments.
The power of the asteroid upon impact would be equivalent of a thermo-nuclear bomb however, scientists have not been able to “pinpoint” a possible strike zone. An asteroid strike in Siberia in 1908 of this magnitude knocked down trees over an 830 sq mile area.
Russian scientists have rejected the “painting” method, as they fear it would simply put the strike off until sometime around the year 2056.
There is still a possibility the asteroid could “split” upon entry into the earth’s atmosphere creating a spectacular “light and fireworks” show. Unfortunately, building a spacecraft designed to “crash” into the asteroid would take nearly two years and time has certainly run out for that option.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s data indicates the 60-meter asteroid will “whistle” by the Earth in 11 months on trajectory that would bring the giant space rock with in a “hair’s breadth” of the planet raising their concerns of a possible collision however, have not released any conclusive statement indicating a direct hit is imminent.