in 2005, former NASA and Apollo astronaut, Russell Schweikart, urged the United States Congress to consider planning for the possibility of a hurdling piece of space mass - an asteroid, most likely - impacting with the Earth. Unfortunately, there was a reason for his request.
An asteroid named 2004 MN4 had been assigned the highest odds ever for a direct impact with our planet since we'd started documenting asteroids in near-Earth orbits. At first, observations guessed at a possible meeting date in the year 2029. Later it was determined that 2029 would probably go off without much problems from 2004 MN4.
However, in 2036 we weren't so sure.
The steroid 2004 MN4 is now commonly referred to as Apophis.
"It's not just Apophis we're looking at. Every country is at risk. We need a set of general principles to deal with this issue," Schweickart, a member of the Apollo 9 crew that orbited the Earth in the 1960's, told a conference in San Francisco.
The impact of this could be devastating.
For an example of the devastation that could be caused, we must look to the Earth's hypothesized history. It is widely believed that a huge 10 kilometer asteroid set down in what is now the Yucatan Penninsula of Mexico about 65 million years ago. This collision formed the Chicxulub Crater that can be seen below the pennisula; an ancient crater approximately 180 kilometers wide. Now that's the small stuff.
The chance of Apophis passing through the keyhole, a 600-metre patch of space, is 1 in 5,500 based on current information.
However, our current risk analysis for 2004 MN4 indicates that no subsequent Earth encounters in the 21st century are of concern.
Originally posted by rabbigoldstein
this is truly a huge threat.. even 1 in 1000 is a huge threat, seeing as if we are unlucky enough to be that small 1 in 1000.. this is it, the world is over
so yes i think people should be taking this more seriously
Fear mongering (or scaremongering) is the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end. The feared object or subject is sometimes exaggerated, and the pattern of fear mongering is usually one of repetition, in order to continuously reinforce the intended effects of this tactic, sometimes in the form of a vicious circle.
It is very unlikely that the asteroid Apophis will impact Earth in the foreseeable future. It will pass close to us on April 13th 2029, and again in 2036. There is a small chance that on the first of the two visits, the effect of the Earth’s gravity will dangerously alter Apophis’s trajectory, resulting in impact in 2036. The odds of such an impact are currently estimated at 1 in 45, 000.
Originally posted by thecinic
I heard an astrologer on george noory coast to coast am one night and he stayed that scientist/astrologers/NASA can tell/see 100 years in advance what asteroids are out there and what could potentially hit earth.. It is a known fact for atleast the next 100 years there is NOT an asteroid that is on a collision course with earth.. can we say chicken little with this now?edit on 7-12-2010 by thecinic because: (no reason given)
As of October 7, 2009, refinements to the precovery images of Apophis by the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, the 90-inch Bok Telescope, and the Arecibo Observatory have generated a refined path that reduces the odds of a April 13, 2036 impact to about 1 in 250,000.[