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Monday, November 07, 2005

99942 Apophis: Asteroid on course for Earth's Neighborhood

I really enjoyed Deep Impact and Armaggedon. These movies came out 7 years ago, but I still find the situations they present to be thought provoking and the decisions that had to be made to be difficult ones.

Well, here we are, 8 years later and the scientists are watching an asteroid that has a 1 in 5,500 chance of hitting Earth in 2036.

Scientists are carefully watching Apophis, which will whiz by Earth in 2029,
passing within an unnerving 18,640 miles. That's a few thousand miles closer
than many communications satellites and 220,000 miles closer than the moon. In
2036, the concern is that it will move in even closer, leading to the 1-in-5,500
chance it will strike.


Astronauts say we have the capability of deflecting these asteroids, but that we need a plan. Let's hope that they get one in place just in case...

6 Comments:

At 7:03 PM, Blogger thebluestbutterfly said...

How exactly do they plan on deflecting an asteroid...triggering earthquakes or something like that? shoot it down? using gravity or an explosion to pull it somewhere else?

I am glad that I am not a scientist and hoping that I will not be a dead civilian.

 
At 7:24 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

They don't go into how they would deflect the asteroid in the article. I have heard that it would be possible to send out a rocket and deflect it while it was still several years out.

If you deflect it a little while it is far away, by the time it gets here, the angle deflected would be much larger. So you wouldn't have to expend as much energy way out in space as you would here. If we were to make a plan now while we still have 30 years, then we could act well before it was near earth.

Thanks for stopping by!

 
At 9:14 PM, Anonymous peter hook said...

Its quite interesting to know that something like this could happen. They say we only know about one tenth of the meteors that could be coming to earth. Some we may only see once it is too late.

 
At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Gravy Beard said...

By 2036 I'll be so old, if I am still alive, that I will wishing for it to hit me first.

G B

 
At 4:19 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Shoot, I was hoping to live till Apr 5 2063. I will be 100 yrs and one month. I wanted to travel to Bozeman Montana to see the Vulcans land and participate in the First Contact party with Zephram Cochrane.

Interesting also that Apophis is the antagonist Goa'uld in Stargate SG-1 for several seasons. He threatened to destroy Earth several times.
Equally interesting is that in the Kemetic religion (the religion of Ancient Kemet, or Egypt), Apophis is known as "The Destroyer. He is a Serpent God and is the patron God of Evil and Darkness. He is also called Apep. Every year, a ritual called the "Banishing of Apep" would be held by the priests of Ra. They would take an effigy of Apep and in the center of the temple they would pray that all the wickedness in Egypt would go into the effigy. Then they would trample the effigy, crush it, beat it with sticks, pour mud on it, and eventually burn and destroy it. In this way, the power of Apep would be curtailed for another year.

I have some big boots...anybody know how to make an effigy?

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

GB...no way you are that old, I've seen your pumpkin carving after all, so I know;)

Jeff, I understand about wanting to be around for First Contact, but have you forgotten, the wars and chaos that preceded that...do you really want to go through that too?

Also, thanks for the Apophis information. Very informative!

 

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