Avoiding another disaster

We avoided the Mayan-anticipated end of the world in December, and now we’ve apparently avoided the Earth being demolished by a massive asteroid in the next 20 years or so.

Astronomers with NASA last week recalculated the path of the 1,060-foot-wide Apophis asteroid and announced that it would not smash into Earth on April 13, 2036, as they once feared. Years ago, astronomers figured there was a 2.7 percent chance it would hit Earth, and later cut the chances to 1 in 250,000. Now, the asteroid certainly won’t hit the planet in 2036, astronomers said last week.

Well, we’re certainly happy for the change in odds, although who among us actually knew the asteroid existed and could potentially hit Earth in the first place. But we’re glad there are astronomers tracking such things, and we find the information fascinating to ponder. We know the planet is being constantly bombarded by tiny particles from space and that larger objects sometime pass dangerously close the Earth.

Now if we could just predict and avoid some of the looming natural and political disasters facing us on the planet we’d be even happier.