The meteorite event
over and around Chelyabinsk, in Russia, poses a challenge to bloggers. Everyone wants to talk about it and to read about it. Unfortunately, online opinionators can bring no "value added" to this kind of story. You'd have to be a very, very
clever monkey to find some way to politicize the incident.
Initially, I was very intrigued by any possible connection between this meteorite and Asteroid 2012 DA14
, which is passing close to our fair planet as I write these words. But the European Space Agency resolved that issue when they announced that the meteorite's trajectory
bore no relation to that of the asteroid.
In 2010, as you may recall, Obama announced the goal of landing a manned craft on an asteroid by 2025. The asteroid Apophis
-- what a wonderfully sinister name! -- is scheduled to make a close fly-by in 2029. Originally, scientists thought that that this body had a 2.7% chance of striking the Earth, but that figure has since been rounded down to zero. Not to worry, apocalypse fans: A "gravitational keyhole" could deflect the asteroid into a course that might cause an impact in 2036.
If you were of a conspiratorial turn of mind, you might posit that the real
numbers (which the gummint keeps secret, of course) are more frightening, and that Obama announced the 2025 goal in order to ready us for an apocalypse-averting asteroid intervention.
Do I believe that? Not really. But when you're a blogger who is trying very hard to be a clever monkey, you work with what you have.
Our long-time contributor b is a very clever monkey indeed. In a comment appended to the preceding post (the one about Marco Rubio), b offers some very strange speculation about this meteorite. Normally, I discourage off-topic comments -- but this
one is fun, and you may want to look it up.
Added added note:
And then there's dear old Vladimir Zhirinovsky