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Asteroid to Miss Earth 'by 15 Minutes' on Friday

Bill Nye, a.k.a. "The Science Guy," explains the effect an impact could have on Earth.

On Friday, Feb. 15, asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 17,200 miles — or 15 minutes — of Earth, according to scientist Bill Nye ("The Science Guy").

While the asteroid, which Nye said is comparable in size to the one responsible for the 1908 Tunguska event, is expected to pass harmlessly by, Nye said it is a very close shave, relatively speaking.

"This one will miss us by about 15 minutes," Nye explained. "Fifteen minutes' difference and that's it."

If it were not for those 15 minutes, life for millions of people could end.

"If such a meteor were to hit Atlanta or New York City or Boston, that would be it for those municipalities," Nye said. As much as 1,200 square miles would be destroyed, Nye added.

According to Nye, there are approximately 100,000 "Earth-crossing" asteroids and, for the first time in human history, the possibility exists that something could be done should one threaten Earth.

"It is something that we as humans all over the world ought to get involved in," he said.

Are you worried about an asteroid striking Earth in your lifetime? Scroll down to comment.

John Boyle February 14, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Are we missing an opportunity to try to divert or destroy an incoming asteroid threat? The world has known about 2012 DA14 and its near-Earth trajectory for many months now and it seems to me it would be ideal for target practice.
garrett Keating February 14, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Not that an asteroid isn't serious (one can ruin your whole day) but I wish this website would take up some more imminent threats to Piedmont. For example, we just had a SRO town hall meeting on crime.

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