The White House And Bill Nye Want You to Come Watch This Huge Asteroid Zip by Earth | Smart News | Smithsonian
Current Issue
July / August 2014  magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

Keeping you current

The White House And Bill Nye Want You to Come Watch This Huge Asteroid Zip by Earth

The asteroid passes by tomorrow afternoon, and the White House has a pre-game show starting at 2 Eastern

smithsonian.com

Look how close it is! Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Tomorrow afternoon, the giant asteroid 1998 QE2 will shoot by the Earth. The asteroid is roughly 1.7 miles wide, says NASA, and will pass by around 3.6 million miles away—15 times the distance from us to the Moon. But Friday’s afternoon approach will be the closest this little rock will be to our somewhat bigger rock for the next two hundred years.

The White House, hip to generational fear-of-missing-out anxieties, is ramping up to make this an asteroid-pass to remember. (Just think: Two hundred years. This is your only chance to see this.) As part of their ongoing We the Geeks campaign, the leaders of the free world are orchestrating a live Google Plus hangout to talk about the asteroid. Lori Garver, the deputy administrator of NASA, will be there, as will Peter Diamandis, the co-founder of a company that wants to start mining asteroids for minerals. So will Bill Nye the Science Guy. You can’t miss this chance to hang out with Bill Nye. (Can you? N0.)

According to NASA, the asteroid will make its close pass at 4:59 pm Eastern, 1:59 pm Pacific. The White House’s pre-game show kicks off at 2 pm Eastern, 11 am Pacific.

More from Smithsonian.com:

NASA Wants to Drag an Asteroid Into Orbit Around the Moon
Giant Paintball Gun Could Save the World From Death-by-Asteroid

Tags
About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

Read more from this author |

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus