Whenever scientists announce an upcoming close encounter with an asteroid, certain corners of the internet light up like the synaptic rush that accompanies a meth binge, with panicky headlines shouted straight from the brain stem. But never mind that. We’re not that corner of the internet. We’re sober, yo!
The fact of the matter is, there aren’t any more near-Earth asteroids than there used to be. We’re just getting good at detecting them.
The latest one is called 2006QV89 (We’re going to call it QV for short), and it’s a football field-sized chunk of rock. But don’t let that frighten you, it’s really only 40 meters in diameter (48.5 meters wide x 109 meters long.) Some are feeling panicky, (or they couldn’t care less but want you to panic for clicks). Part of the problem is that the ESA has put it on their risk list, which sounds ominous.