Asteroid 4W 5H17 is about 150 feet in diameter and has a mass estimated at about 143,000 tons. Initial estimates placed the asteroid only within about 17,200 miles of Earthâ€™s surface, closer than the communication satellites that will have broadcast the news of its arrival. However, that mass -- combined with the gravitational forces of the Earth (and our nearby Sun), that have Asteroid 4W 5H17 and Earth locked in an astrological game of Chicken.
And while Earth might win, its inhabitants probably won't live to tweet about it.
Last year, Kinder Abiegdeel, Swedish Astrophysicist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia warned that should an object of that size ever hit Earth, it would cause a blast with the energy equivalent of about 2.4 million tons (or 2.4 megatons) of TNT explosives. "That's more powerful than 180 times the atomic blast that leveled Hiroshima."
"Actually, I knew this one was coming for quite some time, but I didn't see a point in telling anyone. The only ones who will survive are cockroaches and ants. They don't read 'Astronomy and Astrophysics'. The irony is this asteroid would have been repelled by heat waves caused by Global Warming. However, all the successful efforts of the environmental movement to cool down the planet have actually brought about our demise."
Asteroid 4W 5H17 will begin its approach Thursday morning and it is expected to strike the earth around midnight. The only thing that could change its trajectory would be a side hit by the moon. Such an occurrence would be like hitting a 100mph fast-pitch baseball with a casually tossed beach-ball.
Preachers and religious leaders are urging followers to put their lives in order and make things right with God. "We're hoping Jesus puts in an appearance before this thing hits," said Pastor Paige Turner. "If not, well -- this is everyone's last chance to come to Wednesday night prayer meeting and set up a proper appointment. Heaven doesn't do walk-ins."
However, Kinder Abiegdeel wants to put everyone's mind at ease. "The most important thing I can tell people is, there's nothing to worry about. Worrying implies there is something you can do to change the outcome. Simply put, we are all doomed -- so you might was well make the most of it. If you have a date for Valentines, keep it. If you don't ...it kinda sucks to be you.
"But, if you're cute and desperate... call me, maybe."