After snow, heat, quakes: will asteroid smack Oklahoma?

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The asteroid passed by uneventfully. You didn’t even look up at the sky, did you?


If outlandish events related to Mother Nature are the new norm, the aircraft carrier-sized asteroid heading toward Earth will smack into the state of Oklahoma sometime today.

Excepting a hurricane, just about every other meteorological, geological, and hydrological possibility has done its damage to the Sooner State in 2011. The lowest temperature ever recorded – a minus-31 degrees at Nowata – occurred during the record-breaking snow events of late January and February. When it melted off, the tornadoes struck. Once those storms finally passed, clouds avoided the state and the lack of rain brought drought, burn bans, range fires, and excessive heat warnings. The 100+ degree temperatures broke all records.

Now, three structure-rattling earthquakes have hit in a week, the latest coming Monday evening. It was shorter in duration, but given the current sensitivity to moving foundations and creaking walls, it was just as effective in promoting the general nervousness.

Scientists are saying the Tuesday’s close call with the asteroid is nothing to worry about, but then – who would have anticipated three chart-topping earthquakes in a week would rattle houses from Lawton to Tulsa and beyond?

NASA has a group called the Near-Earth Object Program, which keeps an eye out for space junk that could hit our planet. They’ve been watching 2005 YU55 for a while now, and say there is no chance it will impact the planet. The big space rock is expected to come within 200,000 miles of the Earth on Tuesday.

It is the closest any space object will pass since 1976, and officials say they don’t expect anything as close again for another 17 years.

The big space rock is expected to make its swing-through about 5:30pm Oklahoma time.

Scientists say it will not be visible with the naked eye, and even with a telescope, viewing may be difficult.

Unless you live in Oklahoma and Mother Nature continues her radical sense of humor.

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