Is it just us, or does it seem like asteroids are coming an awful lot closer to hitting Earth than they used to? For what it’s worth, that’s not the case — we’re just better at detecting asteroids than we used to be. That means we’re learning all sorts of cool things about these magnificent space rocks, like which ones may harbor valuable minerals we could one day exploit, and which ones could potentially wipe human civilization as we know it off the map in the coming decades.
Today, you’ve got a chance to get caught up on all the latest news and science on asteroids courtesy of We The Geeks, a Google Hangout presented by the White House. At 2pm EDT this afternoon, you can join Bill Nye, NASA’s own Lori Garver, astronaut Ed Lu, IAU astronomer Jose Luis Galache and aspiring asteroid miner Peter Diamandis of Planetary Resources for a round table discussion on all things asteroids — from how we could harvest them for minerals to what happens if we have to try and dodge one.
You can tune in and listen this afternoon, and we hope you’ll stay with us to watch what promises to be an enlightening chat. Until then, though, you’ve still got time to get in on the action yourself. If you have a question about asteroids you want answered, tweet it or post it to Google+ with the hashtag #WeTheGeeks. The panel may take up your question, leaving you with the lifelong giddy thrill of having Bill Nye respond to something you said.
We’ll have the hangout embedded here so you can watch when it goes live at 2pm EDT. Until then, please accept this video representation of our plans for an asteroid strike as a placeholder. Like all of our best plans, this one relies heavily on having a spaceship and ends in us exploding.
UPDATE: And we’re live. Enjoy!
(via The White House)
- The moon needs a moon of its own. So say we all.
- You had us at “anti-asteroid space laser”
- This is a pretty serious asteroid rolling through the solar system today