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Fortunately, NASA says nothing this big is headed our way anytime soon.
Far from being a cause of concern, the discovery of NEA 2002 MN was another example of the success of the Spaceguard effort in general, and of the LINEAR program in particular. Similar concerns were expressed following the discovery of 2002 EM7 two months ago, but there is no cause for "doom and gloom" in either of these asteroids.
It makes no difference if a NEA is discovered on approach or departure from the vicinity of the Earth. We don't give extra points for an approaching NEA or demerits for one that has already passed the Earth at discovery. The only effect of "blind spots", whether they be due to sunlight or moonlight or bad weather or lack of a southern hemisphere survey telescope, is to slow down the completion of the NEA catalog.
An asteroid similar to the one that flattened forests in Siberia in 1908 could plow into Mars sometime in the next few weeks, scientists said. Researchers attached to NASA's Near-Earth Objects Program, who like to call themselves the Solar System Defense Team, have been tracking the asteroid for days.
Originally posted by Vanitas
BTW: "attack" would imply conscious malicious action. Aren't you being a bit harsh on asteroids? ;-)
Granted, it's a BIG Sky out there, and there are only so many resources to assign at any given moment, but perhaps they should refrain from making sweeping claims when they clearly don't have a handle on what is coming or not.