Killer Asteroid will Miss Earth, Barely

Posted: April 21, 2012 in Science
Tags: , , , ,

This article was a ViewsHound Silver Prize Winner

                    By James Peters – Monday 13 Jun 2011

   A killer asteroid is set for collision with the Earth on April 13, 2036 and the United States isn’t taking it as seriously as Russia is.

 The killer asteroid Apophis can take out up to 25% of life on planet Earth.

Is the United States & NASA not taking this seriously enough?

Is the United States & NASA not taking this seriously enough?

 

 The scare of 2004

   There have been tales told, articles written and movies made about killer asteroids plummeting to the Earth, taking out cities and exterminating millions of people within seconds. The killer asteroid Apophis is such an asteroid and it’s all too real. It was discovered by the team of Tholen & Tucker on June 19 of 2004. They estimated that the asteroid Apophis is approximately 270 meters in length and in weight about 20,000+kgs. It is traveling at speeds of 23,000 mph and at that speed it can cause serious damage. It could take out over 10% of the world’s population if it hit dead middle of the Pacific Ocean, or it could take out around 25% of human life if the impact takes place on land. It was estimated then by Tholen & Tucker that the killer asteroid Apophis would make contact with the Earth April 13, 2029. This announcement put a bit of a scare into the public and that’s when NASA decided to step in and go over the notes and calculations of Tholen & Tucker. NASA and other astronomical agencies related to the United States government confirmed that there was an asteroid headed towards Earth but the date of impact was incorrect. Indeed, Apophis will pass the Earth in April of 2029 and will be able to be seen with a pair of binoculars, even during the day, but the date of impact isn’t until April 13, 2036.

   Donald Yeomans is head of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program. He confirms that Apophis will come close with the Earth’s gravitational pull in the year 2029 and if it hits a certain “keyhole” it has a chance of swinging back around and it will head for Earth once again. But Donald Yeomans assures us that the chance of it hitting the Earth even then is still highly unlikely. Russia did their own calculations and they think Yeomans calculations are slightly off and his predictions are extremely premature. Russian scientists think that when Apophis passes the Earth’s very strong gravitational pull on April 13, 2029, it will be a bit closer than what was earlier predicted. Passing the Earth that close will change the pathway of the killer asteroid Apophis, making it quite a possibility of it colliding with the Earth.

   Although the United States says there’s no reason to worry, Russia on the other hand says now is the time to prepare for the worst. Russia believes that constructing some sort of projectile to send into space and intercepting Apophis should be underway and soon. Professor Leonid Sokolov of the Saint Petersburg State University in Russia feels that the US is not taking the possibility of Apophis striking the Earth seriously. Professor Leonid Sokolov was quoted in saying the following:

   “Its likely collision with Earth may occur on April 13, 2036. Our task is to consider various alternatives and develop scenarios and plans of action depending on the results of further observations of Apophis.”

 

   NASA firmly believes that the Earth is perfectly safe from a collision with Apophis and that Professor Leonid Sokolov is just overly cautious. When someone asked Donald Yeomans the question, “What if…” He answered that the problem will be addressed swiftly and accurately.

 

Disclaimer: the views of the author are not those of ViewsHound, WordPress or Publisha Limited.

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