The Library of Congress invited comedian Bill Nye “The Science Guy” to a private meeting designed to hash out ways the U.S. can best prevent asteroids from pulverizing Earth.
He is expected to speak in Washington, D.C., alongside noted astronomer Dr. Amy Mainzer about how NASA can defend the planet from dump-truck-sized space dust. Nye has an engineering degree, but is not a scientist, though he frequently appears on cable TV to lecture audiences about climate change.
Asteroids have been in the news recently. Various new reports have highlighted the potential impact some of the large space rocks could carry if they collided with Earth. Astronomers are kept a close eye on one asteroid the size of a skyscraper that flew past the planet last month.
Dubbed asteroid 2002 AJ129, the rock is nearly 1,000 feet wide and, according to experts, about 3,700 feet long, a height exceeding the 2,717-foot-tall Burj Khalifa skyscraper. Planetary defense experts are obtaining as much data as they can to determine the trajectory of cosmic bombs.
Another asteroid called 2014 JO25 also got a little too close to home last year. It was discovered in 2014 and maxed out at 2,000 feet end to end, which is larger than the Willis Tower in Chicago. JO25 flew about 1.1 million miles away from Earth — about 4.6 times the distance between Earth and the moon.
Congress tasked NASA with locating large objects that come within any reasonable range of Earth. The agency’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program locates any object that is 460 feet or larger that comes within five million miles of the planet. The Earth’s atmosphere usually eats up most space debris before hitting solid surface, but NASA still believes the big one is out there.
Nye and Mainzer are expected to delve deeply into the issue during their behind-closed-doors meeting in March at the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. Mainzer, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is a world-renowned astrophysicist while Nye is mostly known for hosting a children’s show about science in the 1990s.
His newest venture is a Netflix show called “Bill Nye Saves the World,” which purports to look at various social problems through a more scientific perspective, according to the International Movie Database, but one of the show’s most recent episodes promoted transgenderism and other social science concepts.
Television Academy Awards nominated writers on the show last year for a musical number suggesting that sexuality exists on a spectrum. The episode raised concern from conservatives and YouTube denizens alike, many of whom mocked the show for awkwardly associating social sciences with physical sciences.
The nominated episode features the music video, “My Sex Junk,” which was published on YouTube and aired in April on Netflix, features actress Rachel Bloom singing a song about transgenders, gay sex and how sexuality is a fluid concept. Bloom’s song appears to lament the fact that humans are relegated to living lives as male or females.
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