With modern speculation surrounding notions like that of Zecharia Sitchin’s planet “Nibiru” and “Planet X” (especially as we draw closer to the year 2012), many folks these days seem to wonder about whether or not large, moving spacebound objects might pass occasionally through our solar system, perhaps in an effort to “observe” planet Earth. It appears that this is indeed the case; at present having much to do with a 10 meter-wide asteroid making a slow-pass of the Earth, on a course that will bring it within a mere 400,000 miles of our lovely little mudball.
Now that you’ve stopped screaming, I should probably mention that the near-Earth asteroid, named “2009 BD” is said to pose no threat to us, though a recent article at the Universe Today website says it is nonetheless “an oddity worth studying.” According to astronomers, the object is what’s called a co-orbital asteroid. These strange, silent celestial bodies move throughout space, finding larger bodies (typically planets) and follow their orbit. Such is the case with 2009 BD of its relationship to the Earth, always maintaining no more than 15 million km in distance from us. As cited eerily by author Ian O’Neil over at Universe Today, “It is stalking us.”
Of course, this notion of an asteroid “stalking” Earth instantly brings to mind Sitchin’s aforementioned notion of Planet Nibiru, which many modern Ufologists and conspiracy theorists alike believe may be an operable, even manufactured planetoid (we’ll use the term “death-star” for the sake of simplicity) which houses evil reptilians coming to enslave mankind at some point in Earth’s future… possibly around the year 2012. However, as fun as it is to toss forth such depressing notions of future enslavement of mankind, I wonder why so many folks look at the reality of a big, creepy “celestial stalker” as such a bad thing? In fact, as technology progresses over time, we may be able to use such occasional orbiting-oddities to our advantage.”
That’s right… remember the 1998 film with Liv Tyler and Bruce Willis, where Willis (portraying oil-driller Harry Stamper) flew up to a Texas-sized Asteroid threatening all mankind, drilled into the sucker, and planted a nuclear bomb into it in order to blast the thing into two halves, both of which thus missing Earth? Well along these same lines, Ian O’Neil over at Universe Today points out how NASA feels that “having NEOs in stable orbits around the Earth could be of benefit to mankind in the future as missions can be planned, possibly sending mining missions to these rocky visitors so we can tap their resources.” For instance, we know the rare Helium-3 isotope, sought for its use in nuclear fusion research, exists in fair abundance on our nearest orbiting body, Earth’s moon. Indeed, other isotopes and other products of this sort may exist in greater abundance on mobile bodies drifting throughout space than they do here on Earth, and utilizing such resources while they are available to us could result in otherwise inaccessible amounts of any number of potential useful energy sources, etc.
ON THE OTHER HAND… could there be other things drifting around on asteroids like this, perhaps alien viruses, or even alien life forms the likes of the symbiotic alien suit which plagued Spiderman back in the 1980s (also featured in the most recent installment of Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy)? What if we were to bring back with us something the likes of the “reanimation” dust featured in the latest Metallica video All Nightmare Long? Yikes, I think the science-fictionist within me may have reared its frightening head once again…by