Near miss

A previously-unknown asteroid passed within 14,000km of Earth, and was detected less than a day before reaching its point of closest approach.

Universe Today

Shplonghfgl! Did you see that?

See that? Of course I fricking saw it! We nearly hit that big-ass planet broad-on! What I want to know is how come you didn't see it?

Me? I'm driving this thing. I don't have time to keep an eye out for every piddly little terrestrial world. That's supposed to be your job.

Oh, and just because it's less than ten thousand miles in diameter, it's OK that you somehow failed to spot it until we damn nearly piled into it? You want me to make you a bumper sticker that reads 'I brake for gas giants'?

Listen, I don't know where it came from. I just looked up, and there it was.

Where it came from? It's been orbiting in the same place for billions of years. It's on all the fricking maps. What's your problem, haven't you ever driven in a solar system before?

OK, smart guy. What about the time you nearly hit that comet nucleus? I mean, hitting something a hundred yards across in the middle of empty space. That takes some special skill.

Not even slightly similar. I had right of way. Those comet jockeys knew that, they were just being dicks about it because they're cryogenic. 'Oooh, we're made of frozen nitrogen, nothing bothers us.' Well, I'd like to see their faces when they make a close pass round the Sun and start evaporating. We'll see who's laughing then.

Yeah, well, whatever ...

LOOK OUT!!!!!!

Whoa! Who put that moon there?

Oh, for stars' sake. Just pull over and let me drive.

- okapi :: Science & Technology :: 10 November 2009