It ain’t Hollywood: The May 31 1998 QE2 asteroid flyby

Well this is it.. for months we have been warned that a large asteroid the size of a cruise ship was going to zip by the planet Earth on May 31. And now, today, May 31, it is doing just that. As expected. Luckily for us it’s not in a direct path to hit the planet. Instead, the 2 mile wide space rock will travel within 3.6 million miles. That doesn’t seem close, but in terms of the universe, it’s only a pinhead away..

NASA chief Charles Bolden will host a live telescope view of the asteroid at 1:30 PM Edt.. Space.Com is set to broadcast the live event..

For the record, the asteroid we are going to be watching is 1998 QE2. It was obviously discovered in 1998.. where were you then? Me? I was a junior in high school probably staying up too late to watch David Letterman and listen to Art Bell, never imaging that the year 2013 would ever have even been here.. 
But this asteroid flyby brings up some delicate and important questions. What about the next ‘big one’? The one that is set to pound earth?
We assume we know of all of the threats out there.. but there are tons of space debris and rocks ready and poised to slam something somewhere. Next year, for example, another asteroid may very well hit Mars. Later in November of this year, we may see a comet as bright as the sun in our earthly skies..
Back in March of this year, NASA gave advice if an asteroid was on a collision course with the planet earth: PRAY. That is what they said.. Pray. And really, who could blame them? What else at that point where there be to do? ARMAGEDDON style responses are just Hollywood.. if the real event actually happened, world governments would hardly be apt to come together let alone respond with anything that would destroy the space rock..
Yes indeed.. pray.
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