If you listened to the latest Living Space podcast you’ll have heard us talking about the then breaking news that a little asteroid called 2007WD5 had a small chance of hitting Mars. At the time the chance was given as 1 in 75, but new observations which have more tightly constrained its orbit raise that to about 1 in 25. OK, as the Bad Astronomer notes that’s still a 96% chance of nothing, but it’s not yet zero.
Given the fleet of spacecraft we have around the red planet right now, this would be an amazing impact to watch; you can even imagine Opportunity seeing the meteor in the sky as it headed for impact, with the crash watched by Mars Express and MRO. It’s a strange shift in perspective; instead of hoping Earth is out of the way, I’m hoping those odds narrow further and January 30th brings a spectacular impact.