As I was saying… if the asteroid misses Mars… it could come back and hit the Earth someday. The article below my portion of this post points to that same conclusion.
Be warned, some of the information presented as fact in this article are actually just theory. Some say it was a comet, others say it was an asteroid, still others say it was a UFO that exploded over Siberia in 1908. My guess is that the UFO theory is the least likely.
Oh, and the author states that there would be advanced warning and that we have the means to divert the threat of an asteroid impact… these are bold faced LIES! Although we do have much better tracking of asteroids today… we by no means can be assured that we are tracking ALL the asteroids out there near the Earth or have Earth crossing orbits! For example, an asteroid could be coming at us, right now, from the Sun side of the planet, and there is currently NO WAY TO DETECT IT from that sun side of the planet, at this time. Also, some smaller rocks, or darker asteroids, could just slip through our observations networks and hit us without warning. And furthermore, there are speculations on how we might, MIGHT, be able to deal with an asteroid… IF WE ARE GIVEN A FEW YEARS ADVANCED NOTICE that it is going to hit the Earth. If a big rock shows up next week, there is currently NO WAY TO STOP IT… period. Sure, we could try blowing it up with a nuke, but depending on the type of asteroid it is, this could actually make things worse by shattering the asteroid and turn the impact into a shotgun blast rather than a single asteroid bullet hit.
Anyway, the good news is that we are not likely to get hit by an asteroid in our lifetime. The bad news is that it is possible that we could get hit by and asteroid in our lifetime and that someday the Earth will be hit again (depending on how advanced future asteroid defense technology gets) by a big rock from space… I just hope it is not any time soon.
Give enough time, and leadership worth more than a penny out of every ten thousand dollars, maybe we will be more protected from the threat of asteroids here on the Earth.
Mars Avoids Asteroid Strike
From AP and Discovery News Reports
Jan. 11, 2008 -- The possibility of a collision between Mars and an approaching asteroid has been effectively ruled out, according to scientists watching the space rock.
Tracking measurements of asteroid 2007 WD5 taken from four observatories have greatly reduced uncertainties about its Jan. 30 close approach to Mars so that the odds of impact have dropped to 1 in 10,000, the Near-Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a posting on its Web site.
Scientists said the best estimate was for the asteroid to pass at a distance of more than 16,000 miles from the surface of Mars, or at worst, no closer than 2,480 miles.
The asteroid was discovered in November by a Congressionally mandated, ongoing search for potentially threatening asteroids and comets. Originally identified as a possible risk to Earth, later analysis showed that the asteroid could be on a collision course with Mars.
Though in the clear for now, Earth could possibly find itself in the asteroid's path at some point in the future. It wouldn't be the first time Earth faced an impact from space. What is believed to be a fragment from a comet plowed into the Earth's atmosphere on June 30, 1908 and exploded over central Siberia with the force of a large nuclear bomb.
Unlike the 1908 event, there would be advance warning of any possible strike in the future, experts say, as well as the tools and knowledge to divert the threat.
Initial observations of asteroid 2007 WD5 raised the odds of an impact with Mars to as high as 1 in 25 before further refinements came in.
The asteroid is big enough to have blasted a half-mile-wide crater in the cold and dusty Martian surface, an event that astronomers would have liked to observe.
Discovery News at Discovery.com