This is the pleasant picture (actually, a series of pictures) of a three-mile-long asteroid that flew by Earth last week at a distance of seven lunar lengths (seven times further away than the moon).
If this thing had hit anywhere on the surface of the Earth, it would have made a crater the size of Ireland and 99.9% of living species on Earth would have been eradicated. That would have left quite a few species, but we wouldn't have been among them. Oh sure, maybe a few hundred of us would have survived to build up a colony and rise again, but Earth's atmosphere would have been SERIOUSLY fucked up for about 100,000 years, probably in the form of a massive ice age.
Luck for us, this is one they spotted. Not that it matters. They say, these asteroid-spotting hermits, that when the truly big one comes (well, anything that succeeds in getting through the atmosphere that's bigger than Alcatraz island) no one, not even THEY will see it coming, it will happen so fast. Most of these space boulders are travelling around 77,000 mph and would hit with the force of 100 times every explosive ever detonated on Earth PLUS the potential explosive force of every nuclear warhead stockpiled at present, to the power of ten.
And it would happen in the blink of a gnat's eye, which is pretty darn fast.
This series of photos was taken by an orbiting Chinese satellite.