In a press release, ESA said its Herschel deep-space telescope had scanned a space rock called 99942 Apophis last weekend as it headed towards its closest flyby with our planet in years on Wednesday.
Previous estimates bracketed the asteroid’s average diameter at 270 metres (877 feet) give or take 60m (195 feet), representing a mass that would equal the energy release of a 506-megatonne bomb, according to NASA figures.
Actually, the risk of it blowing up the planet is pretty remote (apparently, some folks are predicting it might blow us up in 2039), but you have to admit that the irony of an asteroid attack during a black presidency is pretty delicious. Deep Impact? Morgan Freeman? Anyone?
Anyhoo, here’s a video featuring another noted black person — astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson — talking about Aphophis.
And here’s another one, just in case you want to go ahead and freak out for no reason:
[via Raw Story]