From my list on giant space rocks that threaten Earth.
Who am I?
In 2016 I was enjoying an early morning cup of coffee on my back porch in Arizona when an eerie red light lit up the dark sky, followed seconds later by a tremendous distant explosion that rattled my cup and set my dogs howling. As a soldier and journalist, I had seen all kinds of human and natural catastrophes and mayhem, but never anything like this. Later I was astonished to learn that this event, which was seen as far away as Texas, was caused by a small asteroid the size of a refrigerator that had exploded in the atmosphere with the energy equivalent of a million pounds of TNT. I wanted to find out more – and I did.
Gordon's book list on giant space rocks that threaten Earth
Why did Gordon love this book?
The subtitle of this book says it all. As a planetary scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Yeomans’ job was to plot the courses of known and newly-discovered NEOs – that is, asteroids and comets that in space terms come close to Earth’s orbit – and determine if and when they might be on a collision course with our planet. With more than 25,000 known NEOs orbiting around up there, it’s not an easy task. But Yeomans makes the crucial point: it’s not the space rocks we know about that pose the biggest threat, but rather the thousands and thousands of large near-Earth asteroids we don’t know about that are the greatest danger. It’s not like the movie Armageddon; it would take years to develop a space mission to deflect or destroy an incoming asteroid, so it’s crucial that we find and track them – as Yeomans says, before…