With the United States government shutdown still in place, people are beginning to wonder just who is watching the skies.

As NASA is a government-funded body, it too is affected by the shutdown.

The Chief Financial Officer previously confirmed in a document outlining a contingency plan that in the event of a shutdown only a small fraction of employees at HQ will come to work.

In 2013, the US government also shut down and the Asteroid Watch Twitter account confirmed it would not be answering tweets as a result.

At the time of writing, the Asteroid Watch account last posted on 20 January 2017 to confirm that Asteroid 2018 AJ, which was flying towards Earth at the time, would not be impacting us. Which is sort of comforting. Sort of.

So, what happens if an asteroid happens to come hurtling towards us during the government shutdown and actually hits us?

A NASA spokesperson told BuzzFeed Newsthat in such an event...

...there will be people available.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Minor Planet Center - which keeps track of incoming near-Earth asteroids and alerting the rest of the world - will operate during a government shutdown, director Matt Holman told BuzzFeed News.

NASA did not immediately return a request for comment.

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