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Asteroids and Uncertainty

My Rhetorical Sources essay addresses the impact uncertainty in science can have on the media and the public. However, I chose to critique a source that uses the examples of asteroids and the uncertainty of calculating specific orbital routes. While I was writing my essay, I stumbled upon a blog called “Bad Astronomy”. One post in particular caught my attention. Apparently, tomorrow a 400m wide asteroid is going to soar past the earth at a distance closer than the moon. While this may actually be something to be worried about, fear not! The only way any asteroid can possibly leave any damage – and I mean ANY – is if it enters our atmosphere. The blog post also touches on the way people have been freaking out and making absurd correlations between asteroids and earthquakes. Its a good read!

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/11/07/just-to-be-clear-asteroid-yu55-is-no-danger-to-earth/

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 9, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Thanks for sharing this! I thought it was a good blog, I read a few of the posts and found them really interesting. Also in this one post about yu55 (the asteroid that will be closer to the Earth then the moon) it briefly mentions the earthquake that hit Oklahoma and Texas. I am from Texas so this is what everyone back home is talking about. Is it odd that two traditionally earthquake free places, D.C and the south, have been hit this year?

    • November 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      It is a little odd; however, I forgot where I read the article, but apparently every 100 years or so the earth enters a transitional phase that entails natural disasters left and right. So I guess its no coincidence that volcanoes have erupted, earthquakes have destroyed cities, and hurricanes have caused havoc relatively frequently in the past 6-7 years. Here’s a list of earthquakes in the 20th century:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_20th-century_earthquakes

      Notice that they are somewhat frequent in the early 1900’s? Notice that the quakes became somewhat more spaced apart as the years progressed?

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