Stargazers prepare for asteroid fly-by

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Written by Chris Perver  
Tuesday, 22 January 2008 11:09

2007 TU24This link came from my friend Rosemary and ElijahReborn. Last month astronomers revealed that they had detected an asteroid that they believed could be on a collision course with the planet Mars. According to the projected orbit, astronomers estimated that 2007 WD5 had a one in twenty five chance of colliding with Mars on the 30th of January. NASA said those odds were unusually low, and the potential impact received much coverage in the press. But further calculations have effectively ruled out the possibility of an asteroid strike on Mars, at least for the time being. Astronomers have now turned their attention towards another celestial body. This time there has not been so much as a whisper in the press. Asteroid 2007 TU24 is believed to be around 400 metres in diameter, and according to current calculations, it is expected to pass within 1.4 lunar distances of earth. The object will brighten to a magnitude of 11, allowing astronomers to photograph it as it passes by on January 29th. It will be the closest approach of an asteroid to earth on NASA's Potentially Hazardous Asteroid list until the year 2027. Just a few months ago, another asteroid passed within 0.3 lunar distances of earth. 2007 XB23 is roughly 20 metres in diameter, but still large enough to cause significant damage in the event of a direct impact.

What is it about asteroid impacts that strikes fear into the hearts of men? Perhaps it is because of their potential to destroy life on earth. Perhaps it is because if they knew an asteroid was bound for earth, there is very little they could do to prevent it. During the tribulation period, the book of Revelation tells of a day when the "stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind", Revelation 6:13. Jesus Christ also spoke of the Day of the Lord, when "there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken", Luke 21:25-26. Men fear the unknown. At the start of the year, I was also afraid of what the future held for me this coming year. But our faith is in a God Who knows the future better than we remember the past. God has ordained the ordinances of the heavens (Job 38:33), and He upholds them by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). There is nothing that can happen to this planet with God's knowledge, and there is absolutely nothing that can happen to the child of God without His prior consent. Those who have trusted in Christ for salvation are eternally secure. But for those who have not trusted in Christ for salvation, an awful time awaits. For not only will they face the wrath of God in this world when the power of the heavens will be shaken, but they will be eternally separated from God if they die in their sins. Jesus Christ came to earth 2000 years ago. He bore God's punishment for our sins when He died upon the cross of Calvary. And because Jesus Christ has died, God is able to be "just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus", Romans 3:26. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today, and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).

Source JPL, Catalina Sky Survey, PHA

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