The Microscopic Chance of An Asteroid Hitting the Earth Has Doubled

Senior Contributor
05.21.12

One of the big problems of dealing with space rocks is finding said space rocks. After all, it doesn’t do much good to figure out an asteroid is going to hit us a few days before, although we can at least send some obnoxious people in space to die first.

So, the NEOWISE Project took data from the WISE telescope, an infrared one, and analyzed it. Infrared has the advantage of rocks in visible light and rocks in darkness all looking the same to it.

It also means that the number of asteroids in near-inclination orbits to Earth is twice what we thought. Basically, these rocks will come within space’s idea of a close shave: 8 million kilometers.

The good news is that, first of all, none of these are going to surprise us now, and secondly, it’s going to make mining them for their minerals that much easier. It’s worth a tiny chance said rocks will obliterate all life on Earth, right?

image via oskay on Flickr

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