The Short Unhappy Life of 2004-MN4

December 24, 2004: The world takes notice.


Rock From Hell in Our Future?

The colorful but extinct Siberian yak.

NASA yesterday upgraded the risk to planet Earth posed by asteroid 2004-MN4 from outer space. The big rock is scheduled to possibly hit the earth in 2029 [odds 1:60] sometime during April sweeps week. It's quarter mile width makes the asteroid bigger than the one that exploded in the atmosphere above Siberia back in 1908. While it didn't have a name, that asteroid flattened thousands of square miles of forest, and is considered by many to be the cause of extinction of creatures such as the colorful Siberian yak.  NASA took the unprecedented step of upgrading 2004-MN4 to a category 4 on the Torino Scale.

As any good astronomer will gladly tell you, the Torino Scale is a system that measures the amount of clobbering power an object has should it smack into the Earth. It runs from zero to ten, with zero meaning that there is no chance of collision and ten meaning 'kiss your ass goodbye'.

 President Bush reacted immediately to the news, urging congress to speed up funding for his multi-billion dollar missile defense system. Donald Rumsfeld was already on the news circuit this morning, telling ABC "Shoot, we've come a long way, and before long the system will have at least a modest capability. You've got to keep in mind that we've been trying to shoot down little tiny things, and this is a big ass meteor. We can't miss it, unless, of course, we lose the will." Rumsfeld will appear tonight on Fox News, as part of the premier for their new feature, 'Will To Live: The American Meteor'. The show will air nightly at 8:30 'until something is done'.

December 26, 2004: The Threat Grows


Rock From Hell Improves Odds

Canadian news outlet relays the news that the latest analysis of NASA data puts the odds of rogue asteroid 2004 MN4 hitting the earth at 45:1. Scientists have also released the date of a strike - were one to occur - as April 13, 2029. The motives of 2004 MN4 are not known.

December 28, 2004: The Menace Revealed


Could 2004 MN4 Be The Face of Satan?

When NASA Chaplin Dan Whitaker peers through his mighty telescope at the asteroid known as 2004-MN4, he lets lose with a tiny shudder. For what he sees could well be the 3rd Trumpet Judgment, and the space rock could be none other than Wormwood.

"Well, it's common knowledge that Satan was cast out of the heavens," Whitaker explains. "But we now know that he was actually on the planet Rahab, which he tore the shit out of, thus creating the Asteroid belt. And one of the asteroids that he still is partial to is the rock known as Wormwood. That is the object announced by the 3rd great trumpet blast. Below, you can see a picture of 2004-MN4 that I developed using an infrared telescope."

"Looks like a face doesn't it? But not a face like any other, oh no. Let's digitally enhance it."

"In this rendering, we have attempted to accentuate the frightening 'eyeball' regions, as well as add a tad more infrared. What's that below those evil eyes? Could it be a huge gaping mouth? Let's add some devil red lipstick, and clean up that horn area."

"Whoa, Jeez, I wish I hadn't done that. Guess I better forget about sleeping tonight."

December 30, 2004: Course Correction. Disaster Avoided

Bitter 2004 MN4 To Miss Earth

I coulda been a contender, I know it in my heart. Just a tenth of a degree, that's all I needed to adjust. A lousy tenth of a degree. And now what do I get? A one way ticket to Palookaville. You was my planet, Rahab, the only one I ever knew. You should have taken care of me better, stuck around... I could have had class, I tell ya. I coulda been a contender. I could have been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am now... Just another rock, flying through space...


2005, Mark Hoback