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Well call it a somewhat cosmic close call an asteroid more than a mile and a half wide.
Gets within three point six million miles of -- later today.
Now -- big rock poses no threat to the planet right now but scientists say it is just one of thousands of asteroids and meteors.
Large enough to cause a massive damage if they were to hit us.
Do we need a better plan to detect and protect ourselves from massive asteroids and space.
Joining us now Tom Jones a planetary scientist and a former NASA astronaut Tom.
You've been working on just such a plan talking about it with the United Nations tell us about it.
United Nations John -- there is an effort to have international collaboration among the space agencies so they can share the resources and share the information about the detection.
And warnings that hazardous asteroids in the future and with that.
Warning information the space agencies could collaborate on a deflection mission to ward off.
A future catastrophic impact this one we're talking about is called QE2.
This is not a cruise ship though this is 88 flying mountain basically one point seven almost two miles across.
That nine times bigger than the actual cruise ship security to the QE2 is just the -- that the astronomers gave it what was found time fifteen years ago.
But it's a large object that if it struck the earth and it's great velocity.
And mass would wipe out human civilization would collapse our society -- -- nice thoughts.
It's it's worthwhile looking for these not only -- objects like QE2.
But also the million smaller ones that we have not found yet that could wipe out -- city easily.
-- this thing is so big it has its own moon as I understand -- now I know that you planetary scientists are excited to get this.
Get this relatively close fly by three point six million miles.
You know it's not exactly -- brush back pitch but it's it's funny frightening especially when there's so many out there.
No we haven't found yet and don't know about.
-- we'll learn something from this fly by because of the radar picture is that you've already shown.
Give us more information about asteroids and how they're put together but the unknown asteroids need to be found and -- says.
Ground based program won't find them for another twenty years or more so it's worthwhile looking at a space telescope there's a private outfit called B 612 that's trying to.
Privately raise funds to launch a very efficient search telescope to give us that warning if we had warning that something you know one of these city killer asteroid was.
Was coming close to us.
Would we be able to do anything right now are there any way we have to deflect such a thing.
I would not today -- -- had ten or fifteen years of warning we could put a mission together but you can't react in just a matter of weeks or months given our current state of readiness but that's the whole key.
It's pretty cheap to buy the telescope time or to launch a space telescope.
And then not find the -- give yourself plenty of warning -- you have time to react as a lot cheaper than some kind of crash effort.
When you get a just a few months of warning which is the situation we're in now.
We saw how much damage that asteroid did that that that well it was really meteorite that hit over Russia back in February blew out a thousand windows.
How big was that rock estimated.
That was about fifty feet across and I've got weighed only about 181000 tons.
It doesn't even have enough mass to typically make it through the atmosphere at that size but -- and fifty kilo tons of explosive power over Chelyabinsk in February.
And just a little bit bigger and it would have made it -- the -- the ground and -- it -- over city would have been very dangerous incidents.
Wow and we're talking about I think that's again a mountain size one point seven miles across that thing's gonna fly by around 5 PM eastern this evening.
Good to know it's not gonna hit us Tom Jones good luck with your effort to find more these things and deflect the that's on our homework assignment thanks John appreciate it.
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