|
|
|
Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Whew! Asteroid not going to hit us — this time

  • It appears Wayne County will be safe from the approaching asteroid.
    • email print
  •  
    It appears Wayne County will be safe from the approaching asteroid.
    An asteroid about 75 yards long will come close to our home planet on Feb. 15. It will pass within 17,200 miles of Earth.
    In the grand scheme of things, that's just a whisker.
    Though asteroids have hit our planet many times in the past, the danger today is even greater simply because of the number of people who now populate the third rock from the sun.
    Sure, this might not be the biggest story of the day, but sometime in the future, it could be a major event.
    We are not immune from massive asteroids which roam our galaxy, striking at random.
    Fortunately, science has advanced far enough we are aware of most of the asteroids, including their orbits. That means we can predict where they will pass in relation to the home planet.
    But there's always those "rogue" asteroids that just aren't predictable.
    To put it into perspective, the Milky Way Galaxy, where we live, is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilometers in length. The galaxy has 200 to 400 billion stars.
    A supercomputer in Germany recently calculated there could be up to 500 billion galaxies in the universe.
    In other words, there's a lot of "stuff" out there.
    The good news is the distances are so great, the chances of our tiny earth being destroyed by some flying object are very slim.
    But that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.
    Should a huge asteroid ever approach our planet, what would we do?
    As of now, nothing. We would simply be destroyed.
    Some say we should spend resources to have some sort of planetary defense system should this ever happen.
    It's an interesting thought. However, it seems we humans are too busy developing weapons and fighting wars to worry about some asteroid which might not exist.
    That may be the root of this entire discussion.
    One day, billions of years from now, Earth will no longer exist. Should, by some miracle, humans survive until then, we will have to find a way to leave the planet and find a new place to live.
    It's hard to think in such massive and future terms, but cavemen probably didn't think much about pollution yet eventually it became an issue.
    We are caretakers of this planet and we should take that responsibility seriously. Nobody else is going to come here and clean up our mess. It is up to us.
    So even though we are going to avoid the approaching asteroid, it should at least make us stop and think about the larger picture.
    Page 2 of 2 - Our grandchildren to the 5,000th power are counting on us.
        • »  EVENTS CALENDAR