The asteroid, named 2004 BL86 by scientists, is estimated to be between 440-1,000 meters in diameter. 1.2 million kilometers is approximately three times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
A space object is considered potentially dangerous if it crosses the Earth's orbit at a distance of less than 0.05 AU (approximately 19.5 distances from the Earth to the Moon), and if its diameter exceeds 100-150 meters. Objects of this size are large enough to cause unprecedented destruction, or generate a mammoth tsunami in case they fall into the ocean.
Obviously, there is the potential that this dangerous asteroid to fly by hits Earth on January 26, in just three weeks.
3 is less than 19.5 distances from the Earth to the Moon, and 440-1,000 is greater than 100-150 meters.
I cannot forget that these same astronomers had warned us several weeks in advance about a totally different asteroid passing near the Earth, coming from an entirely different direction than the Chelyabinsk meteorite (for which we received no warning) the very same day that it exploded over Russia. What are the odds of that? Talk about a coincidental blind spot! Weird.
The earlier-predicted close approach of another, larger asteroid that same day, the roughly 30-metre 367943 Duende (at the time still known by its provisional designation 2012 DA14) occurred about 16 hours later; the very different orbits of the two objects showed they were unrelated to each other.
There is some entertaining post-apocalyptic reading on this subject. The classic is Lucifer's Hammer, by Jerry Pournelle, but more recently, The Perseids Collapse trilogy, by Steven Konkoly, is maybe even better, but you will want to first read his novel, The Jakarta Pandemic. In addition, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy may also be pertinent, especially if you have young children, and it is very well written.
So, let's have a little fun here on Zero Hedge, and use this as a test of your TEOTWAWKI preparedness. Our test scenario is that, like in Lucifer's Hammer, BL86 breaks up into several large meteorites between 100 and 800 meters, and many smaller. Let us say that three of the large ones hit in the ocean closest to you, causing both blast waves and subsequent massive tsunamis up to 100 feet high in all directions, and the other two hit a land mass in your hemisphere, causing massive atmospheric debris, torrential rains, no sun, and global crop failures for one year.
Let's start by having everyone answer five questions:
1) Do you really want to live?
Then, if you do want to live, and setting aside the fact that luck or fate play a big role in one's individual chance for survival:
2) Are you willing to commit murder and/or steal (the same as murder in many survival situations) in order to survive?
3) Are you going to stay put, or go somewhere?
4) How do you rate your chances of surviving 24 months?
5) What is the number one thing you could do in the next three weeks to dramatically increase your odds of surviving 24 months?
As a reminder...
Acknowledge that nobody really knows if, what, when, or how anything in the future is going to happen...it is all just speculation. Finally, always remember that, "on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero," so don't get too worked up, or go into debt, just because of this little exercise in paranoia.
BONUS: If you answered no to question one, or even if you answered yes, then what is the number one thing you want to do in the next three weeks if this is really THE END?