October 1, 2013
Important Internet space update: In the event of a government shutdown, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Near Earth Object Office will not be warning the public about “potentially hazardous” asteroids and comets that could approach Earth via Twitter.
In the event of government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. We sincerely hope to resume tweets soon.
— Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) October 1, 2013
Yes, this was a service NASA was providing. But don’t worry too much, they laterclarified that even in the event of a shutdown many astronomers and observatories will still be watching the sky. And it’s actually sort of a big deal. Just this past February, an asteroid known as 2012 DA14 thought to be around 150 feet across came nearer to Earth than the Moon and even some weather and communications satellites. If it had been on a collision course with Earth, it would have resulted in an explosion equivalent to around 2.4 million tons of TNT.
This article was posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 5:15 am