Don't move, don't blink, don't do ANY thing to jinx this! I'm holding my breath I can't believe, the odds of the collision on Mars just zoomed way past "maybe" to "get your scopes ready, NOW!"
Remember I posted a week ago about 2007 WD5, that returning asteroid which will come tantalizingly close to hitting Mars on January 30th? It's gone from roughly a 1% chance (1 in 75%) to a whopping 4% (1 in 25%) in just 2 days.
Earlier today, dynamicists (people who can take statistics and form a dynamic of fact) at Jet Propulsion Labs announced that they've adjusted their predictions based on the asteroid's appearance in three images made on 11/8, which was 2 weeks before its actual discovery by a sky survey team in Arizona. So are you just blown away yet?!?!? I'm dangerously close to giddy!
Little replay of facts: When this asteroid first appeared in 1979 it flew past Mars coming within 400,000 miles. Now that it's returned, NASA had it coming within 55,000 miles of Mars. NOW, it's adjusted proximity is within 15,000 miles and closing,now that's an IMPACT dear friends, that's a money shot! Holy canoli I'm never going to get through this month without sedation!!! Mars you best get ready for a slam-dunk hit. BANG! Ruddy red dust flying out into space for who knows HOW long, hitting who knows what. Some will settle on Hubble too, it's close to that area. Oh man.
I'm sorry this PC won't load Animated Flash or the graphic would be more exciting. Click for better idea of what's going on.
This is so exciting, it really is. Although JPL is still saying "if" it hits, they know (I know they know). Asteroid 2007 WD5 will collide with Mars at a speed of 8.5 miles per second on January 30th, within a few minutes of 5:56 a.m. EST. All the planet's "eyes on outer space" will be hushed and focused on that portion of our galaxy. So will I.
This is the most up-to-date info, anything more that comes in as the days pass and predictions can be more refined, I'll be watching for. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting and .... watching.
Basics courtesy of S&T, Gryphon, star charts, JPL, NASA