Each generation receives only a few true love stories. Antony & Cleopatra, Rory & Jess, Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks’ characters in movies, Gabe & Friday Night Lights — all wonderful stories from generations past. And although we can enjoy them at a distance, they leave us, the new generation, wondering when we’re going to start getting our own love stories. Stories that speak to us and our GenA2 relation to space and asteroids, yet also harken back to the love stories of previous generations with which we are so familiar. Our own Leonardo DiCaprio and Blake Lively riding bicycles together, to put it plainly. Well guys, I think we may just have it with 12818 Tomhanks and 8353 Megryan. From MNN:
It wasn’t the flesh and blood actors, but their astronomical counterparts that made a cosmic rendezvous. The two asteroids, discovered seven years apart in different hemispheres, both happened to make their closest approach to Earth in September.
Asteroid 12818 Tomhanks swung within about 151 million miles of Earth on Sept. 12, while 8353 Megryan came about 191 million miles away on Sept. 27. Neither came closer than the distance between the Earth and the sun, and they did not pose any risk to our planet.
Awwwwwwwww. My heart is hurting! My heart is hurting and I don’t know if it’s because I’m so happy for 12818 Tomhanks and asteroid 8353 Megryan, or if it’s because I’m so incredibly jealous of them and hate them SO much. Either way, it’s clear that that this story has all we need for our generation’s defining love: Asteroids, no risk to our planet, and a hint of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Absolutely beautiful. Let’s dive a little deeper into the story, huh? HUH? Why not. We owe it to ourselves AND to 8353 and 12818.
8353 Megryan & 12818 Tomhanks: An Asteroid Love Story
It was a dark night. It seemed like 12818 Tomhanks had nothing but dark nights lately, since he told 8353 Megryan that thing that he didn’t mean. He told her, in so many words, that she was just one of a billion or so asteroids in the sky. “You’re all the same,” he said. He said that, but he didn’t mean one bit of it. Why did he even say it then? Did 8353 Megryan hold some power over him to which he was afraid to admit? Is that why he was pushing her away, out of his orbit or gravitational pull or WHATEVER? He had always been his own asteroid up until this point, and it had gotten him far. He has seen so many things — the moon, the Earth, other planets maybe? Who knows. Who even knows what asteroids see or where they go but this asteroid, 12818 Tomhanks, had gone there by himself. Looking out for number one. That’s how he liked it. And yet…
He couldn’t avoid it any longer.
8353 Megryan, who had promised herself to NEVER think of him again, was up all night thinking about him. But he was a jerk who had hurt her too many times! She didn’t deserve this, and she didn’t even need her asteroid girlfriends to convince her of that fact. She knew it herself. She had lots of great asteroid qualities — fast, lots of craters, very grey, and she came from a bigger asteroid that was very well-traveled. She knew she’d hit Earth someday and destroy a LOT of stuff, with or without 12818 Tomhanks. And yet…
One night she received an asteroid message. It said “I love you. If you feel the same, meet me somewhere between 150 and 200 million miles from Earth. I’ll be waiting.”
Following her asteroid heart rather than her asteroid brain, 8353 Megryan headed to the specified location on September 12. But where was 12818 Tomhanks?!? Had he broken her heart and made a fool of her AGAIN?!?!?!! No. There he was, she didn’t see him at first, but there he was — a disheveled mess. 8353 Megryan had forgotten how 12818 Tomhanks had no idea how to take care of himself. He couldn’t even load the asteroid dishwasher before she came along! ”Oh, 12818 Tomhanks. How did you ever exist without me,” said 8353 Megryan. After a long and thoughtful pause, 12818 Tomhanks replied. ”I don’t know if I even did.”