- uploaded: Nov 8, 2011
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THE WHITE HOUSE REPLY, read here ,regarding ET Alien lifeforms. They have not contacted Earth yet, the White House claimed over the weekend in response to petitions asking for information on supposed human interactions with extraterrestrials.
"The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race," Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy wrote in a blog post responding to the inquiries. "In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."
While Larson maintained that there was no irrefutable proof of supposed alien life, he continued to tick off programs that were being used to further our "understanding if life can or does exist off Earth."
Two separate petitions submitted to the White House's "We the People" program received the requisite 5,000 signatures, ensuring a response from the Obama administration.
One petition called for the "President to disclose to the American people the long withheld knowledge of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings and call for open Congressional hearings to allow the people to become aware of this subject through those whose voices have been silenced by unconstitutional secrecy oaths."
The second petition was more direct, asking for the White House to "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race."
The White House's petition program has addressed various contentious issues. The marijuana legalization movement has had a strong presence, submitting eight petitions that together have garnered more than 150,000 signatures, some of which the administration has responded to.
In a recent response to one petition, Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, rejected calls for the legalization of marijuana.
"We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use," he wrote.An asteroid a quarter-mile-wide will, astronomically speaking, narrowly miss Earth next week.
And while it is the closest an asteroid this size has come to the home planet since 1976, there's no need to call Bruce Willis ... yet.
"There is no chance that this object will collide with the Earth or moon," Don Yeomans, the manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program office, told Reuters.
But that doesn't mean the asteroid -- named 2005 YU55 -- won't be a threat to earth in the future.
Lance Benner, a research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a video from NASA (available below) that scientists haven't been able to reliably compute the asteroid's path beyond a couple of hundred years from now.
At its closest point, the space rock will be about 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers) away, which is 0.85 the distance between the moon and the Earth. NASA says that the asteroid will reach this point at 6:28 p.m. EST on Tuesday.
"In effect, it'll be moving straight at us from one direction, and then go whizzing by straight away from us in the other direction," Benner said.
An asteroid this size -- which, according to Scientific American is larger than an aircraft carrier -- would cause widespread damage if it were to hit Earth, however. The Associated Press spoke to Jay Melosh, a professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University, who said that the asteroid would create a four-mile wide crater 1,700 feet deep. It could cause 70-foot tsunami waves and shake the ground like a magnitude-7 earthquake.
Even though the asteroid will be inside the orbit of the moon, NASA said that the space rock's gravitational pull shouldn't have any "detectable effect" on Earth's tectonic plates or tides.
Yeomans told HuffPost that the flyby will give astronomers a great view of 2005 YU55 and is an opportunity to do research into the asteroid's composition. He said that it's a C-Type asteroid, which means it contains carbon-based minerals which could potentially be used in future space exploration.
"These objects are important for science ... they're potential resources for raw materials in space that we may wish to take advantage of some day," he said.
The New York Times reported last month on proposed fuel stations in space that one study says could put astronauts on an asteroid by 2024.
LOOK: Animation of asteroid's path as it passes by Earth