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Stephen Colbert jokes about ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid


If you were anywhere near the internet on Tuesday, you may well have seen some disturbing headlines about an asteroid “twice the size of the Empire State Building” whizzing close by Earth.

Well, as you might have guessed, the TL;DR is that the whole thing was completely blown out of proportion, the asteroid has been watched for years by astronomers, and it poses absolutely zero threat — something Stephen Colbert was quick to pick up on during his latest Late Show monologue.

“If you’re watching this show right now, good news: The world did not end. Touch and go, because earlier today a large, ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid passed by the Earth. Man, the Oscar campaign for Don’t Look Up is out of control,” the host says in the clip above. “The asteroid is called 1994 PC1, so it looks like Elon Musk will have to choose a different name for his next child.”

After joking about the size comparisons people use to refer to asteroids, Colbert gets to the slightly-less-threatening heart of the story.

“It really sounds like we dodged a bullet — until you learn that the asteroid was ‘1.2 million miles away […] about five times the distance from the Earth to the moon.’

“Dammit science, that is not close! We’re already down here dealing with a pandemic, global warming, and the fall of democracy — our panic dance card is pretty full.”

For what it’s worth, if a hazardous asteroid ever was picked up by astronomers, here’s what would actually happen.

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