asteroid Apophis in orbit for Earth “the most dangerous asteriod ever found”
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I’m sure many of you have heard something about the world ending on December 21st 2012.
It’s only a year and a month away, but don’t stress… Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic events occurring. The bases for predictions of impending doom are flawed. Researchers have not found anything substantiating in classic Maya accounts, and also believe idea that the Long Count calendar “ends” in 2012 misrepresents Maya history and culture. Oh well at least Hollywood had time to cash in.
What you may not have heard is that is 13 days ago, on Wednesday the 9th of November an asteroid, 400m wide, passed between the earth and the moon.
2005 Yu55 was travelling at 13.7km a second, passed about 324,000km (that’s 85,000 km closer than the moon) from earth,
This is as closes as it has been in the last 200 years, and
In spacetalk that’s a “near miss”
If this asteroid was to hit Earth it would have created 40m tsunami that would travel around the world, and shoot material into the sky which would block out the sun for most of the world… It had the potential to wipe out a medium-sized continent and have devastating impacts on climate globally.
The worst case scenario would be a situation where an asteroid was found the day before it get here, according to Ed Bedshore from Nasa who tracks comets and asteroids from telescopes in the US and Australia.
In 2006 that actually did happen, fortunately it was only 3 meters in size when it came in over the Sudan desert.
To avoid the doomsday asteroid, like other researches Bedshore insists on monitoring and increased dialogue between networks, who do so.
Soundbite – Deep Impact trailer
Space observations will become even more important as an asteroid which is due to pass earth in 20 years, will come a lot closer.
The Apophis asteroid was discovered in June 2004.
At 320 meters in diameter, it has been dubbed the most dangerous asteroid ever found,
It will make a very close fly by on Friday April 13th 2029, that’s right superstitious listeners Friday the 13th!
The real danger is that, its exact path will determine whether it smashes into earth seven year later.
If it fly’s through a specific 610 meter wide region of space as it goes past us, then its orbit will change to a degree which will lead to Apophis’ and the Earth being in the exact same spot 7 years later on Sunday, April 13th 2036.
Scientists currently have this at 1 in 48,000 odds. (Higher than you dying in a plane crash)
However more definitive measurements are still to be made,
And even if it is to collide with earth, there would be time for Armageddon style plans to be devised.
Such as slamming a hyper-velocity aircraft into it at tens of kilometres a second to deflect it off its current orbital path.
There are nearly 20,000 near earth asteroids in space
And Dr Betts from the planetary society said “the chances of one hitting the Earth are 100 percent, the key question is time frame.”
So keep your eyes on the skies SYN listeners