Well, you might as well trash your copy of "Armageddon," forfeit your dreams of pulling a Bruce Willis, and saving the world from an incoming asteroid: NASA on Thursday announced that there just aren't that many space rocks out there that could threaten Earth, based on new findings from the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).
Read More →
The orbital infrared telescope recently completed the most accurate census of near-earth asteroids yet, determining that there are an estimated 20,500 mid-to-large size asteroids within a 120 million mile orbit of the Sun, not 36,000, as previously thought. That's a 43 percent difference. Previous estimates were based on visible-light telescopes, which aren't as accurate.
"The risk of a really large asteroid impacting the Earth before we could find and warn of it has been substantially reduced," said Tim Spahr, the director of the Minor Planet Center at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in a NASA press release on the news.