How you are unlikely to die
ON FEBRUARY 15th DA14, an asteroid 45 metres across, will sail past the Earth at 7.8km a second (4.9 miles a second). At just 27,700km away, it is well within the range of communication satellites. It will be the closest encounter on record with an asteroid this big. In 1908 an asteroid estimated to be around 100 metres in diameter destroyed 2,000 km² of forest in Siberia. Thankfully, such events are rare.