by William Moultrie
Mauna Kea Observatories, Hawaii — Astronomers from around the world are trying to get the word out that a giant meteor is heading directly towards the earth, but the government shutdown in the United States is severely limiting further research and exploration of potential solutions.
“I’m telling you that this is as real as it gets,” implored Dr. Marcus Wolf, senior astrophysicist at the Mauna Kea Observatory. “We need to turn all our attention to this right now if we are to have any chance of surviving as a species.”
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is one of the many government agencies that have been virtually closed due to the government shutdown caused by Congress’ failure to pass legislation to fund the government. House Republicans have as yet refused to pass a bill to fund the government that doesn’t include measures to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA – aka “Obamacare”). The ACA is already law, having been passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was unmoved when informed of the situation.
“That sounds important and we’ll look into it, but the top priority for Congress has to be defeating Obamacare,” said Cruz. “If there’s one threat to life on Earth as we know it, it’s clearly Obamacare, and we have a moral obligation to do everything possible to stop it. If that means taking a chance that a big rock might hit the planet, then that’s a chance I’m willing to take.”
“Don’t get me started on all that science mumbo jumbo,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) when reached for comment. “These so-called scientists say that a meteor hit the earth 65 million years ago and killed the so-called ‘dinosaurs,’ but I’ve got it on good authority that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, so they clearly can’t be trusted.”
Wolf estimates the new meteor to be roughly twice the size of the one that is thought to have caused mass extinction of dinosaurs.
Wolf and his colleague, graduate student Leo Biederman, discovered the asteroid last week while making observations of Venus. Wolf tried to call NASA to relay his findings, but was greeted by an answering machine and a message saying that the “voicemail box of this user is full.” He had similar results in attempts to contact the offices of the Air Force Space Command in Colorado.
“We were doing some fairly routine observations of Venus,” said Wolf, “when we spotted a new object in our field of view. After refocusing our equipment on the new object and doing some research and calculations, it became apparent that this was a new, and very large object, and it’s become obvious that the object is on a course to intersect Earth’s orbit.”
Asked about the name of the meteor, Wolf said he and Biederman had discussed it at length.
“It’s tempting to name something this important after yourself,” said Wolf, “but we felt a better way to go would be to quote a famous Republican in the spirit of current events and give it the unconventional name: ‘They blew it up! God, damn you! Damn you all to hell!‘”