Friday, January 04, 2008

Hot Fudge Sundae on Tuesdae

As if calamities on Earth were not enough to keep us poor humans occupied, it seems we must once again gaze into the heavens for signs and portents. Of possible ill-omens besetting a planet named after a god of war - Mars.

It seems there is a 1 in 25 or a 1 in 28 chance on January 30th at 1056GMT/UT/Zulu time that an asteroid, 2007WD5, will strike the red planet. Estimated impact site is along the equator, possibly near one of NASA's little rovers. Have not seen any estimates on the kilo or mega tonnage that could result from this asteroid hitting Mars. The asteroid is 150ft or roughly 50m across, same size as what created the crater in Arizona. The Martian atmosphere far less dense than Earth's, so the asteroid will be traveling very quickly and less of it will have been burned up by friction when it impacts. NASA is still refining the trajectory of this asteroid, so it may miss the red planet completely. Though I do not believe some who are saying if it does miss, it will strike the Earth. Though I expect some to hop on that bandwagon to garner publicity in pursuit of a government teat.

No word from Marvin the Martian on this potential calamity descending upon his domicile, though I expect the Martian Maggot to thunder into the heavens to deliver the Illudium Q-38 Space Modulator to the offending asteroid.

Tip of the hat to Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle from whom I lifted the post title from.

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