On Deck Today: 'Beast' Asteroid Does Earth Fly-By
2014 HQ124 will come within 777K miles of your planet
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2014 8:03 AM CDT
Planet Earth gets a fly-by today from a meteor dubbed "Beast."   (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru, Yekaterina Pustynnikova, File)

(Newser) – Earthlings, prepare to meet the Beast: An 1,100-foot-wide asteroid thus nicknamed is doing a fly-by of the planet today, and if it were on a slightly different trajectory, well, we'd be in some trouble. As Space.com reports, the Beast, better known as 2014 HQ124, is traveling at 31,000mph and will pass within 777,000 miles of Earth (that's about 3.25 times the distance between the Earth and the moon). Thus, if it were to score a direct hit, it would be "catastrophic," says one asteroid expert. "If it hit a city, it would definitely wipe out an entire metropolitan area. You'd end up with a crater about three miles across." Fortunately, as per Space.com , there's zero chance of a hit. The Beast was detected about six weeks ago.

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Jun 8, 2014 8:31 PM CDT
We have technology that is tested: fly up there, plug an apple computer into it. The apple will suck the thing's brain into its black hole, and ka-boom.. And for backup: Illudium Q -36 Explosive Space Modulator. End of story.
Jun 8, 2014 6:30 PM CDT
Let's send Bruce Willis up there to blow it up, just to be sure.
Jun 8, 2014 12:43 PM CDT
There are not too many craters on Earth 3 miles across, but at 1/5 of a mile that's still not even a truly big one. And it's travelling relatively slowly, poking along in the same direction as the Earth around the Sun, not like a comet flying in from infinity. We've been hit by true planet busters maybe 5 times in the last 500 million years and we can only find signs in the rock of the last one, the second biggest event, a crater 110 miles wide from a meteor estimated to be about 6 miles wide. That size wouldn't destroy one city, it would destroy all of them.