My colleagues and I do a lot of sitting around late at night, drinking coffee and chatting. We have to wait for the telescope to move into position. We input data on the computer and then we wait for the computer to do its calculations and give us a read out. All these operations take time. During this time we look at the night sky and the stars.
One of our favorite topics of conversation is what we would do if we found an asteroid heading for earth with a Torino Impact Rating of between 7 and 10. It would mean massive regional devastation, big changes in the climate, earthquakes, tsunamis and great loss of life. Many people believe it was an asteroid that hit Earth and threw up a dust cloud that blocked out the sun that caused the dinosaurs to go extent.
We often take the conversation into the realm of bucket lists. What places would we visit, what we do if there were only months left before the devastating collision? The answer is that we would man our posts and look to suggest ways of diverting the disaster.
If, however, I was allowed to go on a final sabbatical before the world changed I would head back to Thailand. I love the country. I would go to my favorite beach on Phangan Island, Haad Sadet for a week. I would enjoy the calm of the place, go swimming, chat with my Thai friends. Of course I would take my family with me and play with my children on the idyllic beach. It would be my chance to say goodbye to the beautiful things in life like natural beauty, holidays with my family, the warmth of the ocean and eating fresh sea food.
Of course, we can see the asteroids coming from far off. There is one coming in 2029 but that is only a factor 4. I might still make my way back to Haad Sadet in Koh Phangan before then anyway.