It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Those satellites travel at 3.07 kilometres a second, at up to 35,880 kilometres above earth - and the Apophis asteroid will pass by earth at a distance of 32,500 kilometres. If the asteroid strikes a satellite in 2029, that will change its trajectory making it hit Earth on its next orbit in 2036.
Both NASA and Marquardt agree that if the asteroid does collide with Earth, it will create a ball of iron and iridium 320 metres wide and weighing 200 billion tonnes, which will crash into the Atlantic Ocean.
The shockwaves from that would create huge tsunami waves, destroying both coastlines and inland areas, whilst creating a thick cloud of dust that would darken the skies indefinitely.
Originally posted by Buck Division
Not that Wikipedia is the end all, by any means.
But according to them this asteroid has one chance in 40 thousand of hitting the earth. Pretty slim odds.
I remember reading about Apophis in the regular papers around 2004. It made quite a sensation.
Wikipedia sounds correct to me. For example, the discussion of the "keyhole" affect is very lucid (and discounted.)
Here is the Wikipedia article.
Am I the first to link to this article, or was this mentioned already?
(Edited to get the odds correct.)
[edit on 1-2-2008 by Buck Division]
Originally posted by Cyberbian
If we are going to the expense of deflecting asteroids, we should be capturing them.
Many are Nickle Iron. Any material in space is an extremely valuable resource. If only as a radiation shield for future missions. If you caught a comet that is made of a lot of water. They should be working on braking and steering rockets to capture asteroids, a cosmic Catchers Mitt.
Nobody knows how close Apophis will come on that pass. But if there's a chance of a collision, we'll have only 7 years to work out how to avoid catastrophe.
Today, Shengping Gong and pals at Tsinghua University in Beijing say they've come up with a plan that will ensure Apophis never returns to Earth on this timescale .
They point out that keyholes are tiny, in this case just 600 metres wide. So deflecting Apophis by only a small amount in the near future will ensure it misses the keyhole and so cannot return to Earth.
There are various ways to deflect an asteroid. Gong and pals say their preference is to use a solar sail to place a small spacecraft into a retrograde orbit and on collision course with Apophis. The retrograde orbit will give it an impact velocity of 90km/s which, if they do this well enough in advance, should lead to a collision large enough to do the trick.
Putting a spacecraft into a retrograde orbit about the Sun using little or no fuel is a pretty neat trick by anyone's standards.. The Chinese team's calculations demonstrate the point. They show that a 10 kg sail in retrograde orbit, that hits Apophis a year before 2029, would deflect it enough to miss the keyhole, thereby eliminating the chance that the asteroid will return in 2036.
And such a mission ought to be relatively cheap and relatively easy to deploy.