Our planet had a bit of a scare last week: In two apparently unrelated incidents, pieces of the Solar System made incursions into our neck of the cosmic woods.
The one that we knew about in advance, asteroid 2012 DA14, whizzed by at speeds in excess of 17,000 mph, well within the orbit of the synchronous satellites we all depend on for weather forecasting and telecommunications support. That was a close enough call to awareness that things Out There are not as quiescent as we might like to think.
The one we didn’t know about hit the atmosphere over Russia. While about one-third the size of the asteroid, it was moving about two-and-a-half times faster, with attendant kinetic energy. Had it hit the surface without having broken up in flight the way it did, and had its trajectory been even just a skosh different, the results could have been dire–at least, locally. As it was, there was ample cause for alarm, as noted in this video of the effects of its shockwave on the citizenry:
The earlier-seen path through the atmosphere was awe-inspiring; this on-the-ground view was just plain frightening.
Questions: How well prepared are you—emotionally—for unforeseen events? Can you realistically be prepared for everything? How about just for anything? What do you consider a true disaster? Do the day-to-day things that get you really irked qualify? Are they even on your radar, as compared with a real disaster?