Artist's conception of asteroid 2012 DA14 passing through the Earth-moon system on Feb. 15, 2013. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

“Vermin of the Skies”

The JPL scientist in charge of tracking incoming asteroids tells us if we should be worried.

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There’s one asteroid out there that’s particularly special to you, right? Can you tell us about 2956 Yeomans?

 [laughs] It’s actually a pretty garden-variety, ordinary asteroid, I’m afraid. I was hoping it would be a binary or an Earth-threatening object, but it’s just a silicate rock. The advantage, of course, is that this rock will be out there for millions of years, far longer than I’ll be around, so you get a certain immortality.

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