An asteroid almost smashed into Earth, and we only knew about it 15 hours before it happened

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Did you hear the news? An asteroid passed within 8,700 miles of the planet on Friday. The craziest thing is that scientists only knew about it 15 hours before it flew by. So if you have any confidence that this planet is safe from giant space objects smashing into the surface, possibly destroying all life in the process, well, think again.

This particular asteroid wasn’t so big, measuring at around 23 feet across, that it would have caused mass destruction, but it just goes to show you: maybe one day, when the big one arrives, we’ll have a hot 20 hours to figure out what to do.

Can you even imagine what would happen? Scientists spot a gigantic asteroid that would surely cause planet-wide destruction, but they only discover it a few hours before it hits the planet. How would people react? How would society function when faced with mass carnage, if not certain doom?

Now you can see why asteroids represent my favorite sci-fi scenario: how does humanity react when it faces such a cataclysm? Do we band together in the interest of survival? Do we take the opportunity to invade Country A in order to secure resources that we could use?

Oh my God, how would Twitter react?

It should be noted that objects enter the Earth’s atmosphere all the time, and that relatively big ones pass by the planet about two times per year.

Done right, a doomsday scenario movie, unlike that hunk of junk 2012, could be really interesting. None of this, “pull the plane into the air even though we haven’t reached the speed necessary to generate enough lift to pull us upward to begin with,” but a serious look at how people would react.

Which is to say the movie could never be made by Hollywood, lest some American Joe Blow somehow save the day.

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