Giant space rock hurtling towards your planet! Fr. Z opines and advises.

asteroid_Earth_impactSome of my friends in our SMS exchanges will at times long for the big meteor to put us out of our misery.

Today I read at that there is a big asteroid – hopefully not meteor – coming.

A space rock is approaching Earth! And although it would be irresponsible to shout “Incoming!” in a hypothetical movie theater and create a panic, asteroid 2012 TC4 will pass quite close to Earth’s surface when it zips safely by our planet later this year.

Teams of scientists from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) that monitor the locations of near-Earth objects have been tracking asteroid 2012 TC4 with various instruments, including the ESA’s Very Large Telescope Observatory. Those observations have made it possible to better predict when the asteroid will make its flyby of Earth, and just how close it will get to the planet. Observing close flybys like this also helps prepare teams to detect a near-Earth asteroid whose course might pose a threat to Earth.

2012 TC4 will fly by Earth on Oct. 12 at a distance of about 27,000 miles (43,500 kilometers), or about one-eighth the distance to the moon. Previous observations suggested the space rock might come to within 4,200 miles (6,800 kilometers), according to a statement from NASA.

Scientists are interested in this asteroid not only because of its close approach, but also because of its size: The asteroid is between 30 and 100 feet (10 and 30 meters) across, or the same general size as the rock that exploded above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013.


Two things.

Firstly, one of these days, something will come at the planet on a collision course.  One of these days, it’ll be a big asteroid.  One of these days, it will be a hyuuuuge Coronal Mass Ejection (cf. Carrington Event).

On a smaller scale, one of these days, a car might not stop when you are in the way.  A tree, one of these days, could come through your roof.  It may happen that you will get caught in some civil disturbance or violence, one of these days.

We do not know the day or the hour.  Examine your consciences and…


Next, says, speaking of CME, that:

AURORAS LIKELY THIS WEEK: For reasons researchers do not fully understand, the weeks around equinoxes have more geomagnetic disturbances than any other time of year. Data prove it: Auroras love equinoxes. We are now just weeks away from the northern autumnal equinox and, right on cue, the auroras have appeared.  […]  More auroras are in the offing this week. A canyon-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere is spewing solar wind toward Earth. Estimated time of arrival: Aug. 31st.  NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of polar geomagnetic storms (G1-class) when the gaseous material arrives.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Knight from 13904 says:

    Is this space rock heading to the center of the universe or Earth or both?
    Found this video of presentation by Robert Sungenis. He is one of two producers of a movie that came out in 2015 called The Principle.

    What did Galileo, Newton, Mach, Einstein and Stephen Hawking say about geocentrism???

  2. bobbird says:

    It would seem that our good Fr. Z has missed something rather obvious … this is one day before THE 100th anniversary of Fatima. And, if we count for time zones, perhaps in east Asia and even Portugal it will already be the 13th of October. Or, perhaps this will be one of the Signs in the Sky. Perhaps it will mark THE END of Satan’s 100 years of attempting to destroy the Church … then Pope Francis may repent as well as all the other miserable apparatchiks who have clung to the Vatican like limpets … even the Anti-Catholic Distorter (my moniker for “Fishwrap”) will convert! And so will sincere protestants and Orthodox.
    Or, it might just be … THE END.

  3. Dan says:

    That was my first thought as well!
    In fact we are doing our rosary procession the evening of the 12 here as the 13th begins in Portugal.

    A lot of celestial events this year! Coincidence?

    I am following Fr Z’s advice. “GO TO CONFESSION!”
    Best to be prepared for the “thief in the night”

  4. KateD says:

    That’s immediately what I thought of too….interesting timing.

  5. Glennonite says:

    I guess we’re all on the same page with this. Father, what are your thoughts regarding Our Lady of Fatima’s centennial and this menacing space-rock? I am most eager to hear your response. Thank you.

    [I think that space rocks fly by all the time. However, there are a lot of “coincidences” coinciding this year, some of them portentous and even celestial.]

  6. un-ionized says:

    Mr. Knight (Sir Knight?), I would not worry about that. Carry on! That is, keep on carrying your cross.

  7. Father G says:

    As Arsenio Hall likes to say, “things that make you go hmmm….”
    I’m sure I have not been the only one how has thought about what Our Lady of Akita said on October 13, 1973 in light of what’s going on with Amoris Laetitia (“cardinal against cardinals, bishops against bishops”)….and now this?!
    “Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity…” Well, an asteroid can certainly do that.
    I’m not being a doomsday sayer. I’m going to celebrate with joy the 100th anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun” with a solemn Mass and a procession.
    But reading about this asteroid does makes me go “hmmm…”

  8. APX says:

    We can’t know for certain if these are related to Fatima, or if the end is really need. What we do know is that we will die and no one is guaranteed tomorrow. We also know that souls in the state of mortal sin go to hell. From this we can surmise to always remain in the state of grace so that when it’s time to go, as unexpected as it might be, we’re ready to go. Remember, every day that goes by is one day closer to our death. It’s kind of like playing Russian roulette with your soul.

  9. iamlucky13 says:

    It’s been interesting as our ability to observe the sky has improved, how frequently it turns out this is happening.

    Sometimes, we find out about it only as close approach happens, because asteroids large enough to wipe out a city are often still too small to see head of time.

    We got a lot more serious about finding objects in the sky after watching comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 punch a series of earth-sized holes in Jupiter’s cloud cover in 1994. There’s a remarkable graph showing the discovery rate here that turned distinctly upward after telescopes planned at that time went into operation:

    It will be a long time before we’ve discovered most of the smaller, but still dangerous meteoroids. Even once that is done though, there still is the possibility of undiscovered comets wandering in from the out solar system and catching us off guard.

    While large, visible comets are rare spectacles talked about for months or even years ahead of time, it turns out smaller comets are passing by unseen all the time. In 1995, NASA launched a new space telescope for studying the sun that includes one camera which blocks out most of the sun’s light with a disc called a coronograph, so they can study the sun’s outer layers. It turns out this instrument is also excellent for detecting small comets as they pass near the sun. It only detects comets passing very near the sun, yet it has averaged almost 150 comets discovered per year. We have to assume quite a few more also pass earth’s orbit completely undetected.

    Go to confession indeed.

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