Bill Nye the Science Guy is in the news again. As CEO of the Planetary Society, he issued a press release the other day noting that on Feb. 15 Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 17,000 miles of Earth. The asteroid was discovered last February, and during its approach astronomers will study it to learn more about its composition and orbit.
While this qualifies as a close call (the asteroid will pass nearer to Earth than some of our communication satellites, and if it were to impact it would cause destruction equivalent to 100 nuclear bombs) Nye warns in his release that “It is not a matter of whether there will be a dangerous impact, it is a matter of when.”
During a CNN interview on the subject, anchor Deb Feyerick screwed up when she asked Nye if there was any link between the asteroid and global warming. Uh… no. But after a momentary stumble Nye recovers and explains the science behind the 100,000 near-Earth objects that have been detected thus far and the danger they pose. Here’s the clip: