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Google removes asteroid doodle before you can see it

Google intended to present a doodle yesterday to celebrate Asteroid 2012 DA14 passing Earth. But the meteorite event in Russia led to a change in plans.

An alarmed lowercase G hops out of the way of Asteroid 2012 DA14; then hops back. Google; screenshots by CNET

It's not easy to celebrate a near miss on the day of an actual hit.

Google discovered this yesterday. The company was very keen to offer another of its highly involving doodles for your weekend enjoyment.

Its nerd-leaning artists thought it might be fun to create a little something that cheered the fact thatAsteroid 2012 DA14 wasn't going to strike Earth and create havoc.

Sadly, an ill-timed meteorite did strike Earth and create havoc.

Which meant that Google's doodle suddenly seemed in poor taste.

It had, however, entered the firmament enough for the sharp eyes at Search Engine Land to espy it.

The doodle was very simple. The second G in "Google" came to life on noticing a disturbance; leaped in shock; then hopped aside just in time to avoid the incoming Asteroid 2012 DA14, which plunged through the hole left by the fleeing letter. Then the G, with danger past, hopped back into place.

Google explained to ABC News: "Out of respect for those injured in the extraordinary meteor shower in Russia earlier today, we have removed today's doodle from the Google home page." (ABC also reported that many scientists believed the Russian meteorite was not a fragment of Asteroid 2012 DA14 and that the events were not related.)

The removal of the doodle doesn't mean it no longer exists. This is the Web. And this is Google. So you know it has to be secreted somewhere.

In fact, you can find it on this Google page. (Sometimes the animation works, sometimes it doesn't.)

There is no algorithm that can predict these unfortunate coincidences.