One of the best sites out there at the moment is the website run by Phil Plait known as Bad Astronomy. Phil’s mission in life is to debunk all the bad astronomy that is floated around the world and, in particular, the internet.
His most recent target is in debunking various views focusing on the asteroid 2007 TU24. The asteroid is expected to pass us by on January the 29th, and it will indeed be a close miss. However everyone’s favorite bad astronomer is trying to emphasize the word “miss.”
Two videos have recently caught his attention, both on YouTube and, according to Plait – who is backed by an almost insurmountable level of evidence – both false. The most recent video has definitely got him charged up.
I won’t repeat everything he has said, because you really have to go read it for yourselves. But the attempts to confuse and deceive people scientifically across the internet are many. There is always the minority who will be taken in by scams of killer asteroids, simply because they do not know better. This is essentially Plait’s reason for hosting the Bad Astronomy Blog.
One particular video, the latest that Plait has taken to task, is insipidly evil in its attempts to create fear and panic. Quoting from the video it announced that TU24 could “… easily cause earthquakes, deadly storms, and massive eruptions of fire across hundreds or even thousands of square miles.” It goes on to say “Think an asteroid can’t do this? One already has… 100 years ago. Tunguska.”
The Bad Astronomer definitely isn’t happy with this, responding quickly and effectively to utter trash. “Yeah, well, there’s an eensy weensy difference between the Tunguska impactor and TU24: the Tunguska impactor was an impactor. It hit us. TU24 won’t hit us.”
The asteroid is expected to pass us by about 560,000 kilometers (330,000 miles) from the Earth on January 29, 2008. It’s definitely close, relatively speaking, but it isn’t close enough to worry about. So head over to the Bad Astronomy blog via the links below, you won’t regret it.
Posted by Josh Hill.
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