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Bill Nye: Russian meteor, asteroid flyby 'unrelated but related' [VIDEO]

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Feb. 15, 2013 at 9:38 AM  |  Updated Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:13 AM   |   Comments

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Feb. 15 (UPI) -- 'Science Guy' Bill Nye, executive director of the Planetary Society, stopped by CNN to assuage fears that the meteorite that struck Russia early Friday was somehow related to the asteroid due to make its close-to-Earth flyby later in the day.

"The warning is, keep watching the skies," Nye told CNN. "Now, this asteroid, which is unrelated but related, is Asteroid 2012 DA14, and it was discovered by a grant from the Planetary Society."

"These amateur astronomers have gotten very good at looking for these things, so we know about 1 percent of them. So there's another 99 percent of these objects that could destroy a city that we really don't know where they are or how fast they're going or whether they're going to cross the Earth's orbit or not."

Nye went on to say that there's no way Asteroid 2012 DA14 will hit Earth, or even any of our satellites, but that it serves as a reminder of how much we don't know about space, and how another rock could come hurtling toward us at any time.

"This little thing over Russia is a warning shot, a warning to us humans," Nye said.

"If we had enough warning, if we had several years warning, we could do something about it," he said. "We have the spacecraft technology [to] slow it down or speed it up just ever so slightly, and it would miss us."

And if you're thinking about certain popular science fiction movies in which we try to do just that, well, Nye says "they're based in fact."

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