Originally posted on National Post | News:

A space rock even bigger than the meteor that exploded like an atom bomb over Russia could drop out of the sky unannounced at any time and wreak havoc on a city. And Hollywood to the contrary, there isn’t much the world’s scientists and generals can do about it.

But some former astronauts want to give the world a fighting chance.

They’re hopeful Friday’s cosmic coincidence — Earth’s close brush with a 150-foot asteroid, hours after the 49-foot meteor struck in Russia — will draw attention to the dangers lurking in outer space and lead to action, such as better detection and tracking of asteroids.

The two events, the meteor over Russia and the asteroid 2012 DA14, as it is known, that passed harmlessly within 27600 km of Earth are charted below in our graphic:

National Post Graphics

National Post Graphics

With files from Marcia Dunn

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