This is going to happen a little over two weeks from now (17days).
7 million kilometers is 4,349,590 miles. Hermes is 1-2 kilometers in diameter, roughly 5/8 to 1 1/4 miles. They're saying this one doesn't match the Hermes orbit perfectly, but they're pretty sure it's Hermes.
Anyway 4.35 million miles is too close for my taste. Why can't these rogue celestial wanderers stay out of the solar system altogether?
This is the deep, dark secret of Chicken Little: He is an astronomer.
For years I have had a Ziggy cartoon posted in my office. First we see an astronomical observatory with its telescope pointed towards the sky. Five scientists are running from the building; screaming and panicking due to [by implication] what was just seen in the scope. Ziggy looks at the reader with resignation and says: Now what?
The best bet is to either deflect it (change its path) or change its velocity (so it doesn't appear at the same place as the Earth at the same time).
Strategies: (Robert Burnham, Astronomy Magazine, Dec 02)
* - or dump lots of reflective/dark material on it (chalk/ice or charcoal/soot) (D. Chandler, Astronomy Magazine, Dec 02)
Mystery Asteroid, Hermes, May Have a Partner
Great, they're multiplying.
at its not coming directly towards earth..............Seven million kilometres is a safe distance!!!
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